Students Alive! began Wednesday morning, June 25, with teens breaking up into core groups and discussing how the gospel shapes how they practically live day by day. Pastor Mike Hess of Calvary Baptist Church, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, spoke to the teens about how the gospel empowers and motivates them to forgive others.

That afternoon the students packed into shuttle buses in downtown St. Petersburg and rode to Tropicana Field, where they cheered the Tampa Rays on to victory over the Pittsburg Pirates. After the game, Pastor Nate Osborne of Winter Haven (Fla.) Baptist Church challenged the teens from Daniel 6, encouraging them to follow Daniel’s example by being men and women of integrity.

After a full morning and afternoon, the students met up again for an evening at the beach. The laughter and smiles gave evidence to the friendships that had developed as the teens enjoyed participating in friendly volleyball and sand castle building competitions along the shore. Everyone arrived back at their hotel coated in sand, but having enjoyed some fun in the Florida sun.