How To Life Movement reaches out to teens in Columbia

Payson Davenport

In March of 2015, over 700 students attended the first ever How To Life event in Arkansas. The movement was started by high schooler Jordan Whitmer who had a vision of showing his friends and classmates the life of Jesus Christ. The event included stories and testimonies from multiple students about how they found God and what he has done for them. The event quickly became popular and grew to become a movement that has moved from state to state, sharing the Gospel and spreading the life of Jesus Christ.

Recently the How To Life Movement arrived here in Columbia, Missouri as hundreds of teenagers from the area showed up to hear stories from their own peers. Students started showing up at 6 pm to eat a free dinner provided by Chick-Fil-A, shortly after that, the event kicked off with group songs to get the crowd of students comfortable with each other. They sang gospel songs like Glorious Day, and There’s Nothing That Our God Can’t Do. After that, three hosts, Hudson Summerall, Emily Marcks, and Braden Ambra stepped up to get the crowd excited for what they had in store for the night, and then they introduced a game that would be played to win prizes. 

Next, Samantha Schupp walked onto the stage to give her testimony. “I was super nervous, not to talk in front of people but to have people hear my personal testimony. I was worried that people wouldn’t connect to it or it wouldn’t move people to be closer to Christ” Schupp says. But Schupp stayed confident in herself and her story as she delivered a very powerful message. “I wanted people to reevaluate their faith and see what they could do to grow closer to Christ. By trying new things and stepping out of their comfort zone they can grow in their faith and closer to God and that’s what I was hoping for!” Schupp says. 

Besides her testimony, Schupp talked about how excited she was to see how successful this event was. “It was cool to see so many people coming from different points in their life and faith coming together to worship Christ,” she says. 

Multiple  stories from other people came after, that really got the emotions flowing from the audience, giving them motivation to sing the next songs So Will I and Tremble. Then came Jackson Meyer’s Gospel presentation. “My goal was just to be able to explain what the Gospel is in its entirety, not to sugarcoat it or diminish it but to also make it understandable for those who don’t necessarily know what Christianity is all about or who Jesus is” Meyer says.

Following Meyer’s Gospel presentation came more games, songs, and more testimonies from students and then came a discussion panel featuring more student speakers. Kalinga Nihorimbere talked about the Bible, Kylie Groh talked about prayer and finally Matt Wallace who talked about the importance of community. 

The event was concluded with two more songs that capped off a great night of spreading love, happiness and God’s word. “We had a great group of people who did an amazing job of planning the event, there were a lot of people who gave their life to Christ during the event so it was very good to do that and to be able to have that kind of impact on the community is something that we’re gonna strive for in the future,” Meyer says.