Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Youth Revival = AMAZING

The past 7 days have been absolutely amazing.

I'm exhausted, I'm hopeful, I'm elated, I'm surprised, I'm happy, I'm full -- and I feel loved. The way God has shown Himself to me in the past 7 days has been an overwhelming sign of His love for me. Now, I know the theologically correct thing to say is that I feel God's love everyday. And I do! But the past 7 days have been...just...over and above. God never has to bless us richly, and yet He does. I feel so loved and cared for by God. God is soooooo good.

Last Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were the days during which the South Tryon Community Church annual youth revival occurred. I was the primary planner for the youth revival -- and that's probably why I felt extremely nauseous every night just before the services started. I was worried. Was God going to show up? Would my sermons (I preached W, Th, and F) make any sense at all? Would anyone come to the services? Would the kids get anything out of the revival? Would God be pleased?

And on and on and on.

Well, God indeed showed up and left me speechless from awe. Now believe me, I could talk forever about the amazing things that happened at the revival, but I'll just focus on a few ways God showed up and showed out and left me weak from having seen Him at work.

- One teenager gave her life to Christ on Wednesday night. In all honesty, the revival was an evangelistic tool, and watching one of my teens fall into God meant watching the thing happen that we clergy pray for and dream of. Thanks be to God.

- On the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of revival week, we asked the whole church to fast until a certain time and be in prayer for the revival. Well, on Monday I called one of the teens to ask for some help with some paperwork and she informed me that not only was she fasting, but so were several other teens. Now, this may not seem like a big deal to you, but for the teens to have believed in the revival and in God's power enough to fast (you can't even get adults to fast) -- was breathtaking to me. Breathtaking.

- On Saturday, we held the grand finale of the revival, a 'Block Praise Party,' at the church. We fed between 200 and 250 people. I can still taste all that BBQ and slaw (and I can still here the 4 different Christian Hip Hop groups that performed)! People came from everywhere -- children and adults, males and females. It was so beautiful to have that many people eating, dancing, and laughing on church grounds together. It was such a gift to watch God honoring all the work and planning that had gone into the event. And to top if off, after all the people were gone and I was walking to my car (utterly exhausted) -- a homeless man who generally chills on the steps of the check cashing place next to the church yelled to me, "Thank you for today!" I assume he'd come by and eaten earlier at the block party. Well his thanks to me almost brought me to my knees in tears, because (for reasons I shall never know) God used me as a vessel of His service. God used all of STCC as vessels of His love - and that is an incredible honor and privilege.

GOSH!!! -- there is SO much more I could say!!! So many more stories and joys and rewards. God is amazing. Until now, I had never planned anything on the scale of the youth revival or even thought about having a free cookout for an entire community -- and STCC, as a worship community shouldn't technically have had the resources or the abilities to make something like that happen. But God pulled a loaves-and-fishes miracle -- He miraculously provided ideas and people and dedication and hands and feet and hearts -- and in the midst of what was seemingly 'not enough,' God showed Himself abundant. God is awesome. Thanks be to God.

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