Director of Youth Ministries - Hector Meza
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Hector Meza
Director of Youth Ministries

Hector Meza joined the St Paul's staff on of June 1, 2013 as the new Youth Director. Hector was born in Honduras and came to the United States at a very young age. He grew up and attended school in East Stroudsburg, Pa. After graduation from High School he attended East Stroudsburg University and stayed in the area where he became a Health and Physical Education Teacher at East Stroudsburg High School.

While teaching Hector became heavily involved with in his church's youth ministry and after much prayer enrolled in seminary. There he met his beautiful wife Lydia. Hector and Lydia have spent the last two years in Queens, NY, where Hector was the Youth Director. Lydia also taught a Sunday school class and holds a Masters in Divinity.

 
Youth - June 2016
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Youth
May 2016

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."James 1:5

What's the most useful piece He had to tell me, many times unfortunately, to think first before acting. This simple bit of wisdom has served me well throughout my life and I hope that I've been able to pass it along to others who will be well served by it. I'm sure that if you think hard enough you might be able to put your finger on a wise word you've been able to give someone as well. Wise words are like a guaranteed investment, sure to benefit the ones who take the words to heart.

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Youth - March 2016
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Youth
March 2016
by Hector Meza

10"Be careful. Don’t think these little children are not important. I tell you that these children have angels in heaven. And those angels are always with my Father in heaven.]

12“If a man has 100 sheep, but one of the sheep is lost, what will he do? He will leave the other 99 sheep on the hill and go look for the lost sheep. Right? 13And if he finds the lost sheep, he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 sheep that were never lost. I can assure you, 14 in the same way your Father in heaven does not want any of these little children to be lost." Matthew 18:10-14

March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament that captures the attention of many throughout this entire month, has begun. Just about every day you can expect to see amazing performances, dazzling plays, last minute buzzer beaters, and of course, the upsets. We love upsets don't we? There's something special about a small school overcoming the odds and shocking the big school powerhouses. They're called Cinderella teams and their victories are something magical.

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Youth - January 2016
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Youth
January 2016
by Hector Meza

"Our hearts are restless until they rest in You." St. Augustine of Hippo

Around Christmas time this year, Lydia and I got the chance to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral in N.Y.C. Inside the beautiful church there was something rather peculiar about their cresh. It included a manger in the nativity. I discovered that most churches don't put the manger out until Christmas since that's when Jesus is born. The reason this particular church had decided to place an empty manger in their nativity was a hope that at least some of the 4 million visitors that walk through the church would look and realize something was missing. Perhaps they might realize that Without Jesus the scene was incomplete and without Jesus our lives are incomplete.

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Youth - November 2015
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Youth
November 2015
by Hector Meza

Psalm 139:7-10 Your Spirit is everywhere I go. I cannot escape your presence. If I go up to heaven, you will be there. If I go down to the place of death, you will be there. If I go east where the sun rises or go to live in the west beyond the sea, even there you will take my hand and lead me.Your strong right hand will protect me.

A popular song from a few years ago by David Crowder band described the love of God as "jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy" As we all know hurricanes are powerful. In fact they are said to be the most powerful of the natural disasters. Anything caught in its path is affected greatly and the effects of the storm are felt for a long time. To be in the path of a hurricane means that your life stops as you are impacted by wind, rain and water.

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Youth News - September 2015
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Youth News
September 2015
by Hector Meza

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 1,314 hours. That’s roughly the amount of time that most Americans aged 18-49 spend on social media in a year. I’d mention what the numbers are for minors, but that would surely scare you.

1,314 hours.

That breaks down to about 3.4 hours per day. We’ve all had experiences with social media that were wonderful and useful. Maybe we learned a new recipe or have been able to pray for a friend, but more often than not I’ve found myself feeling as though I’ve wasted precious time in my life. We end up with feelings of jealousy or sadness over the amazing things our friends and family are doing while we suffer away in our climate that’s too hot (or cold). There’s even been research that suggests that too much time on social media can be bad for us and lead to less than satisfied life. And so the passage from Ephesians written so long ago, appears to be so important and relevant today.

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Youth News - June 2015
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Youth News
June 2015
by Hector Meza

“Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2

Recently I was a groomsman at an Indian wedding. It was quite an elaborate and extravagant affair full of lively music, dancing and food. Just about everything required the participation and enthusiasm of the entire crowd.

One could hardly distinguish young from old as everyone was together for this joyous occasion. One of the most memorable moments came at the beginning of the ceremony. The groom, dressed in fancy almost princely garments mounted a white horse adorned with jewels and armor. In front of the groom was his entourage of friends and family all dancing and cheering, announcing the arrival of the groom for the patiently waiting bride. It was a really fun and emotional event, since I knew how long my friend had waited to find the person he would spend the rest of his life with. It was hard not to think of the triumphal entry scene, where Jesus was arriving to redeem His bride, the Church.

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Youth - May 2016
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Youth
May 2016
by Hector Meza

We have small troubles for a while now, but these troubles are helping us gain an eternal glory. That eternal glory is much greater than our troubles." 2 Cor 4:17

"Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross. He did this so that we would stop living for sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you were healed." 1 Peter 2:24

I marvel at all the pharmaceutical ads out there. We live in a world of remedies. There seem to be pills, creams and procedures for just about any ailment out there. And with each one there appears to be an even larger list of side effects. Nausea, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and irregular digestive patterns are just a few to mention. How badly do you have to want a cure that you would risk more discomfort and possibly even death?

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Youth - February 2016
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Youth
February 2016
by Hector Meza

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
― C.S. Lewis

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments." Luke 23:34

Many people this at this time of year are trying their best to express love to those around them. The do all kinds of typically romantic things like giving gifts, watching romantic comedies together, going to fancy dinners and making mix tapes (hello 1980s!) But one thing is essential to prove that you love someone.

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Youth - December 2015
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Youth
December 2015
by Hector Meza

Matthew 23:1-4 "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger." "I love communion in our church." I whispered to Lydia a few weeks ago. She nodded her head in agreement. However, it wasn't due to the meaningful and rich liturgy, or the music, or even the elements (though the bread and grape juice are much better quality than I've shared in some churches.) What made us respond with gratefulness was that we both noted that the people serving were dressed normally. This might not sound profound but we rejoiced that we could be part of a church where all are welcome to receive a reminder of the grace and love of Christ. We have regrettably been a part of churches where this was not the case. One particular story stands out in my mind. Once, when I was younger, I was asked to help serve Communion. I thought it was a great honor and felt blessed to be a part of the service. The only thing was that I didn't own a suit at the time. I thought, "Well, I have a nice shirt and tie. I'll just wear that." I served that Sunday and enjoyed the fellowship with Christ and my church family.

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Youth - October 2015
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Youth
October 2015
by Hector Meza

As some of you may know a few weeks ago MTV aired their Video Music Awards (VMAs). This event has been touted as a glimpse into the cutting edge of the music industry and youth culture. One quote that stood out from the festivities came from Jussie Smollet who said,

"No art form in the world captures moments like this more powerfully than music. Music helps us make sense of the world."

For 35 years MTV has strived to entertain, shock, and indoctrinate our students. The VMAs is one of their main events aimed, "to help make our students make sense of the world." I believe our students deserve a different voice. I think they deserve better role models who will challenge them to make the world a better place, not glorify the hurts and horrors of it. So we're going to examine some of the moments from VMAs and take a look at what the Bible has to say in response.

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Youth News - July/August 2015
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Youth News
July/August 2015
by Hector Meza

It seems for us in the Western world, going barefoot means being free. Nothing says, "Freedom, Relaxation, Summertime" quite like going barefoot. The feel of the sand in your toes or the soft grass under your feet. Many joyful childhood memories are composed of barefooted expeditions and carefree sporting games. However, for many people in the world, going barefoot is not an option. It is an unfortunate way of life. It is estimated that 40% of the world's population does not own adequate footwear. The number of barefoot orphans in subsaharan Africa alone is about 20 million. This reality can have dire consequences. Parasites and bacteria have led to diseases that affect roughly 1.5 billion people, many of whom live under $1 a day. We believe that something can be done. At our youth lock-in this summer we will raise money to help donate some shoes for both Denita's Orphanage (associated with Step of Faith) and for our own St. Paul's missions team to take with them. We hope that through the giving of these shoes, the recipients might know the God that loves their feet (and every fiber of their being too!) Please pray for all the Summer plans that we have for our students and for the new students who will be transitioning into youth group this next year.

In Christ,

P. Hector

 
Youth - February 2015
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Youth
February 2015
by Hector Meza

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:37-40

“How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Have you already given up or are you trudging through even when it’s difficult? I think we can all agree that challenges are hard. That’s why they’re challenging! This summer as the world was dumping buckets of ice cold water on their heads for ALS awareness, I decided to challenge our students to become aware of another pressing issue in desperate need of awareness. Over 2.4 billion people lack adequate sanitation, and another 1.1 billion are without access to safe water. Every day more than 4,000 children die of water related diseases such as cholera and typhoid. And for those that do not die, insufficient access to clean water adversely affects education, health and political stability.

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