Eyes on the Arizona Mission Offering: Seths see impact of Zona Camp
By Chelsea Bush | Jul 18, 2023
For 20 years, Zona Camp has been the highlight of summer for students ages 12-18 in Arizona. Zona has remained a staple for many middle and high school students, and its impact has been far-reaching.
Josh and Megan Seth can attest to the impact Zona has on everyone involved. As a 7th grade student, Megan began attending Zona annually with her church. When she started college and got involved with Christian Challenge, she served with the Zona Crew as a college staff member. Josh is currently the director of student ministries at Happy Valley Baptist Church in Phoenix, and he brings his students to Zona each year.
Megan’s experience at Zona as a student revolved around understanding that, even though she had been a believer for a few years, her faith needed to keep growing.
“I started realizing I needed to rededicate my life to Christ,” Megan said. “As a kid, camp ignited that fire that I’ve got to do something with my life, I’ve got to show that I know God.”
Megan also realized through her experience as a student at Zona that her actions mattered. While at Zona, serving in a community where she did not live, she learned the importance of sharing what she was learning with family and friends back home.
When Megan began attending college, she got involved with Christian Challenge, and that led to an opportunity to serve on the Zona Crew as a college staffer. Although she was nervous, God showed her that He could use her in spite of her misgivings.
While on staff, Megan doubted God’s ability to use her because she hadn’t experienced the difficulties many students face. However, one evening, Megan had a conversation with a young student who had been experiencing difficult things at home, and God used Megan as a safe person with whom this young lady could be honest.
“I was able to share the love of God that He has for me and to lead her to somebody who could get her help,” Megan said. “It was a scenario I was absolutely dreading, and God worked.”
Megan went on to share that it was through that conversation that God reminded her He can use her regardless of her personal experiences and doubts.
“God can use me and can use anybody else to share His Word,” Megan concluded.
As a youth pastor, Josh has seen Zona’s impact on encouraging emotional vulnerability for both his students and his leaders.
“Students come to Zona and feel the freedom to be emotionally vulnerable and to share,” he said. “It opens up that door to open up about things.” Josh went on to say his leaders also felt safe to share in Zona’s unique environment.
After Zona this year, three of Josh’s students chose to be baptized, and he attributes this to God’s work at Zona and the freedom to share and ask questions.
Josh also serves as a member of the Zona Team, planning all year for camp each summer. He sees Zona’s wider impact on the entire state as he interacts with youth pastors who return year after year.
“Camp keeps getting more expensive,” Josh admitted, “and, yet, at the same time, while things get more expensive, the kids need Jesus more too.”
Megan heartily agrees. “The week of Zona … is the next generation of kids that are needing to learn about God.”
When you give to the Arizona Mission Offering, you help Zona continue to be a cherished and vital part of how churches reach students with the Gospel all across the state.
Chelsea Bush, a freelance writer living in Phoenix, is a member of Foothills Baptist Church, Phoenix.