Dear Teen Mania Family,
You all know that ESOAL, and now PEARL have been one of the highlights of the intern year at the Honor Academy. The event has consistently been one of the highest-rated out of all of our LTE’s.
ESOAL was started in 1999, and it was an incredible event. The lessons it imparted – of strengthening our character and reliance on God when we go through difficult times – were fantastic. Over the years, we worked to innovate and improve how ESOAL was conducted. We collected feedback, took input and structured and re-structured the event so it had the greatest impact possible in the lives of everyone who participated.
Then in 2011, we changed ESOAL so dramatically that we decided to change the name to PEARL. Even though many of the events were different, the lessons and goals were similar.
Unfortunately, the secular media did not understand – or even try to understand – what ESOAL and PEARL were all about. Neither did they do their due diligence and research our event properly. They didn’t talk to the thousands who have come through the event with positive experiences. They ignored all of the positive testimonies of parents and youth pastors who came to see first-hand and even participate in ESOAL and PEARL over the years, even though those stories were offered to them.
So, this life-changing 90-hour event has been greatly mis-characterized and has resulted in the entire HA internship year being publicly maligned. We are saddened by what has resulted, and we want to make sure that all of the great things happening at the HA, at GE, at ATF – all of the lives being transformed by the Lord through these ministries — is the story that gets told.
So, the leadership at the Honor Academy has decided, starting this year, to suspend PEARL indefinitely.
While we are sad to have to take this step, we are confident that the creativity and passion embodied by the HA leadership and staff will mean those lessons learned through ESOAL and PEARL will still be taught. We don’t know what shape that will take, but we are confident that with this change will come great new opportunities to seek the Lord and His will.