DEARBORN, Mich.—“If you don’t like your parents, you don’t like yourself. You can’t like yourself and not like your parents.”

Speaker Mark Holeman, pastor of First Baptist Church, Newaygo, Mich., got a few laughs out of that one, but his point came across clearly to the teens attending the Students Alive! kick-off session: If you are a result of your parents, what should be the result of being God’s child?

“You have a Heavenly Father Who is very different than the crowd, and you can be different because He is different. You are His child,” says Pastor Mark, introducing the “Recharge Your Faith” theme to the students attending the 2013 GARBC Conference.

Director of Students Alive! Lance Augsburger has a lot planned for them this week, including a Stickman mascot.

“Come ready to be encouraged, ready to learn, ready to be excited about living for God. We want to recharge your faith,” says Lance. “Have some fun, make some friendships, deepen your faith.”

However, the students themselves will certainly not be Stickmen.

Tuesday, they will spend the afternoon painting at the Detroit Rescue Mission as a local service project. Joshua Peters, 17, from Hagerman Baptist Church,  Waterloo, Iowa, is excited about the event.

“I’m big into painting and cleaning,” says Joshua, who has attended the GARBC Conference since he was in elementary school. “I’m excited to go help, paint, do whatever.”

Several students, in groups and individually, will be involved in the National Talents For Christ competition later this week.

Unlike Stickman, the students will be up and active throughout the week, as they enjoy activities that include ice cream, rock climbing, bumper cars, and plenty of fellowship.