Desired was created in August of 2006 as a result of a camp experience I had. The summer of 2006 I was a camp counselor at Camp Good News and spent my time reaching out to young girls, mostly ages 10 to 15, and teaching them about Jesus and his love for them. I came home wanting the experience to continue! I took a look around and saw that there were plenty of girls in my youth group who needed a "big sister" or a mentor in their lives to help them learn how to follow the Lord in everyday life and most importantly to help them understand his incredible love for them! I wanted these beautiful girls to see just how amazing they really are, to know how perfect and unique each of them is and to be able to really live in the joy of knowing that they are "desired" by Jesus. :) I got together with my youth pastor and his wife, presented my idea and then we began planning. Along with 2 other girls my age, we organized a girls' group, named it "Desired" and started advertising with the girls in youth group and their friends. We started out meeting once every other week at our youth building and we simply did some really fun interactive activities to make them feel special and loved, while adding in a Bible Study time to help strengthen their faith and knowledge of God. Some of these activities included a very fancy sit down dinner, a slumber part, painting, kareoke night, etc. Over time, the girls found lasting friendships in each other and in myself and the other mentors. By the next summer, the girls were not only best friends with each other, but they had developed a strong sense of trust in and respect for myself and the two other girls who helped out. It was incredible year of growth and relationship for them. I believe they came to know Jesus' love for them in a new and lasting way. Desired provided a safe haven for girls who had no friends, an unsafe home, or were simply feeling lonely or trapped. Through this school year, Desired has continued under a new name, Poiema. Some of the girls stuck around, others moved on and lots of new faces have joined us. We still have a great time and are learning even more about Jesus and his love for us every week. I believe strongly that it is important for young girls to have positive self image, to like who they are and to look forward to who they are becoming in order for us to have a positive impact on our world as wives, mothers, leaders and community participants. I also believe it is vital for girls to have friends that are girls, friends they can trust and rely on. And lastly, I believe that it is essential to community life for older girls to reach out and lead those younger than them, no matter what age or stage they are at. I believe that through Desired, Jesus has changed and shaped many young hearts. :) I pray that it will continue in the future, even after I have graduated!