“Church feels like a blessing. It feels like home to me,” says Lily Laursen, who has been at BelPres since she was a baby.
Her grandparents — Lew and Judy Steves — have been involved at BelPres since its early years and raised Lily’s mother Dana in the church. Lily’s parents Ross and Dana Laursen are also active at BelPres and have participated in teaching, playing on the softball team, serving as an elder and volunteering with the youth ministry. Lily has a 13-year-old brother Erik.
A 16-year-old student at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Lily juggles a busy school schedule with an active church life. Balancing
tennis team and volleyball team, along with her studies, she finds positive role models in the BelPres youth group and places a high value on
not only participating, but taking an active role there.
As a member of the BelPres High School Student Leadership Team, Lily helps with planning the direction and activities of the high school group. She especially likes the way the team is organized, always trying to find ways to improve.
“I believe in leading by example,” she says. She models this by investing in younger students and looks out for newer members, especially the
freshmen. She takes a special interest in being an advocate for the girls in the high school youth group.
“It’s challenging to stay consistent with who I am as a Christian going to public school,” says Lily, as she explains that today’s teens have so
much pressure and distraction.
It’s challenging to stay consistent with who I am as a Christian going to public school
“I aspire to give back,” she explains, “and I like to promote the church community. Building relationships is important to me – I like to get to
“Lily is beyond kind and thoughtful, always checking in and listening to those around her to see how they are doing or feeling,” says Alischia
Bestemann, small group leader.
Lily also supports elementary and middle school camps and Vacation Bible School, sharing her experiences as a previous attendee. She took
part in a mission trip to Bolivia with her family alongside the high school group in 2015. While there she made many connections to her fellow students and the children in the orphanages and now serves as the Secretary to the Niño con Valor Youth Board.
“Lily draws you in with her incredible energy and sense of humor,” continues Alischia. “She also has a fantastic laugh.” “Lily leads in every place she goes,” says Steven Johnson, high school director, “on her campus, tennis team, and at our church. She thoughtfully loves others and makes them feel at home. She understands how to make others know they are part of a bigger community and loved by God.”
Lily has a lot on her plate with school activities, classes, and plans for the future, but here at BelPres she feels she can “put those things aside and focus on her faith, building real and honest Christian relationships, and improving the church community.”