This was the last of this annual event, which is very sad and joyous too! Sad because this has been an awesome event and I personally had a good time to just get out of my comfort zone in Morris to team with other believers "next door"-Alexandria (45 minutes away)-reaching the youth. Joyous because of another outreach event with many awesome testimonies...
-819 youth came
-awesome weather after a huge winter storm (4-12 inches of snow in different parts) on Friday, December 30th 2005
-a young teenager opened herself to the Counseling Team in the "Cheerz Lounge" (Counseling/Follow-Up room with bibles and other faith building resources with praise&worship music in the background). She shared the challenges she and her mom are facing with-mom's boyfriend being abusive (already reported to social services). After sharing, she hugged our lady counselor with tears dripping from her eyes. It was awesome how she got connected with us. First, she was touched at the "Extreme/Power Team's" message. Second, one of counselors (Matt) came over to her and ask if she would like any prayer or resources after the salvation/prayer invitation. Third, Matt introduced me to her and then I connected her with Naomi (lady counselor). Matt, Naomi, and I all sat in the school desks by her to hear her story. Lastly, we prayed all together.
-One of the adult volunteers stated that the youth seem more "tame" or "gentle" this year. I actually agreed from my perspective as they seem less rowdy then past years. I feel this had to do with the many prayers beforehand; including the awesome Praise and Worship for volunteers, band members, performers/entertainers, etc...
“It’s all about You-Jesus…it’s not about me”….this was one of the awesome worship songs we sang as a “pump-up locker room like” rally for volunteers prior to the doors being opened around 8pm. The lyrics helps us to not focus on ourselves and focus on Jesus in “reaching-out” to the many “unchurched”- “hurting” youth that were going to come through the doors within 2 hours! The bands present were invited to come in front for prayer during this worship time as the rest of the volunteers reached-out in prayer. This seem to bring a special anointing in their music at this event as “seeds of the Gospel” were spread amongst another, and below seem to be some shedding of the “fruit”:
-an answer to a specific prayer for “good weather” for safe driving for everybody
-one of the Christian bands I talked to knew a daughter of a co-worker I’ve been praying for
-a Jewish guy asked God into his life, but not Jesus; however, a seed planted!-“couch” worker’s report
-a guy that came over who was wondering about how to get to heaven accepted Jesus into his life. He kept saying he was in “trouble”, which he shared some personal “stuff”. He never heard about the whole Good News of Jesus as he came from an unchurched family. I ended up giving him a brother to brother hug as I told him that he is now a child of God, and he’s part of the family in Christ.
-the “nations” came as an exchanged student all the way from Taiwan came and accepted Jesus at the "couch", which her friends that was with her came from Brazil and other “nations”. I personally help with my local church in reaching international students, which I hope to have these youth be connected with us in fellowship.
-10+ youth came all the way from the cafeteria after an alter call that followed an awesome “Fear Factor” style show, which each of them got some Follow-Up Materials: Bible and faith building tracts.
-a lady from Fergus Falls remembers me somehow from SYATP last year and bought fireworks from me at the ministry fundraiser that I volunteered for
-this guy came over as I was writing our (email@example.com) contact info. in some tracts I wanted to get rid of in the last hour and seem interested in what I was doing. He volunteered to help pass them out. I was watching him, and he would ask each person “Do you know God personally?”. The youth seem to be very open to receive these tracts from this guy, who just had that “compassion” approach. I asked him how he came to know God personally, and he told me that he was invited (“reached”) at his now local church’s Super Bowl Party in West St. Paul-just last year! I ended up laying my hands on him in prayer for this evangelism gift to be used mightily by God!
-our opening arms to our "Catholic" neighbors, which I had an awesome conversation with a youth minister as we tried to have an understanding of one another
-overall the fellowship (youth, youth pastors, and volunteers overall) with other churches represented from St. Mary’s (Alexandria), (Minnetonka), River of Life (Sauke Centre), Covenant and Lutheran (Evansville), Covenant (Alexandria), Baptist Church (West St. Paul), Morris Community Church (Morris), Hossana Worship Center (Morris), and of course the spearheaded-host church of this event-Lake Community Church (Alexandria)…to name a few from just my personal interaction!
-the teamwork by some of the "churches" of Alexandria and surrounding West Central Area to work together in reaching out the "generation y"!
-16 prayer requests!
-120+ (#22 "first timers" for salvation)youth prayed at the "couch"
-620+ youth attended this event from Alexandria, surrounding West Central Area, Twin Cities, California (youth visiting relatives in Alex), and as far away as Taiwan (exchange student)!
-all types of youth from “all walks of life” (cliques: punk, gothic, jocks, etc.. and geographic: inner city, suburb, and rural) seem to be there!
Please send me on any additional praise reports or testimonies from SYATP 2004 for current and future encouragement to the SYATP organizers and the Family in Christ overall:
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