(As I haven't spoken with the kids about being on this page, I've taken the liberty of renaming them...)
This morning's worship service was a whole lot like worship the last week at camp (except that I was running sound this time). Later many of the youth shared. All of the parents we heard from are blown away at how the kids have changed. The pastors & youth leaders are pretty much all hearing the same things about maintaining, and where to go from here (ministry!) At the end of the service Dennis asked the youth to come up and for anyone who wanted prayer to come to them. A bunch came. It was awesome.
As long ago as last Sunday, only 2 of the youth really got into worship, and most of the youth were dragging their parents out the door the second service was over (if not before). Today, all the youth who had been to camp were worshiping with all their might. They didn't want to stop!
Before, very few wanted to go to leadership training. Now, almost all of them do, and the Lord has given the youth leaders & pastors a vision that these youth are to stop being followers, and become leaders wherever they go.
Our service typically runs from 10-12. Today at 2, we still had over 1/2 the youth praying for people (the rest had been drug out by parents who had places to be). God's power fell again, this time on several adults as well as some other kids.
Many went to eat together afterwards with some parents; Jeff & Amy & I went, as well. A few of the kids were singing & dancing at the pizza place (it's a raucous, family pizza place, and the kids weren't being rowdy about it, so I doubt anyone even noticed).
The Lord impressed me to talk to a few of the kids about their brothers & sisters who couldn't go to camp needing what they got - but some of the kids were already praying with their (or someone else's) brothers & sisters!
A year and a half ago, someone (I think a visiting preacher, but I'm not sure) prophesied that the revival we were praying for - in our body, in the community, in the surrounding areas - would begin in our youth group. I think since then, some people had gotten discouraged waiting.
THE WAIT IS OVER! Some of the parents are already getting revived from what God is doing through their kids. One mother testified this morning about how God took one kid away and gave her back a completely overhauled one. (Those weren't her words, but I forget the words, and the meaning is the same.)
One thing I hadn't yet understood was in regard to the girl (call her Jane) in whom I saw the holy beauty. Right after I saw that, I saw the most seductive temptress I'd ever seen - in the same face. Now I understood the first part - what God was doing through her, and wanted to do through her, but not the second. Was it something she needed deliverance from? Sin? A problem with me? I was certain only that it was more than just the devil playing games - God had let me see this for a reason. But why? I prayed, and knew it wasn't her, and then that it wasn't anything in me. But I didn't say anything (except to one other leader), because I wasn't sure what it was I had really seen.
Talking with her parents today, it hit me that it was related to what Satan wanted to do. (Symmetry in visions. Hmmm.) I've always wondered that guys weren't following this girl around with their tongues hanging out; she's very pretty outside, anyway, but that inner beauty really shines! And it turns out that outside church, they do follow her around that way. The guy she's been seeing isn't a Christian, and just comes to church to be sure nobody there is after her. And yesterday, she told her mom that God told her to start fasting from some things that were holding her back - and guess who was one of them?
Then I find out that this girl is a cheerleader (it's been prophesied she'll be squad captain next year) and involved in something else very visible (I think the drama team). [She never talks about herself!] I saw that God has some really incredible plans for her at the camp, and am just beginning to see what He's already been doing. So, Satan's a jerk, and he has his plans, but I know Who I'm betting on.
Finally, I've been really frustrated this past year. I've really poured myself into these kids all year, and it hasn't been obvious whether it's meant much. But last week and today I've seen the results of my miserable attempts at seed planting and watering (sometimes just manure shoveling 8^/ ) and how, if we just do our part, God does so much with even our tiniest, feeblest work. No, I don't think anybody got revived or anything because of me or anything I've done. I just know I was faithful to try and do what God called me to do. I also know that if nothing else, that year put me in a relationship with the kids that needed to be there for the time at camp; they knew that I loved them, and that they could trust me, and there were times these things were crucial.
And suddenly, it's all worthwhile. Some of the kids prayed for me this morning, and God did some more healing in me. He made me face up to my fear of loneliness, of being left out, and then showed me who should pray for it. It's not all over, but there's a real start. And then Jeff came up and spoke to what was hurting me most right then - my feelings of rejection, or unimportance, of uselessness, of inability to really hear God & be a part of what He was doing.
What does it all boil down to?
God is doing something!
Something new. A fresh anointing. And all I can say, people, is get ready. Look with an open heart and mind. Don't worry about appearances - just ask God to show you what he has for you. And be ready for it - whatever it is, whether it's ``orthodox'' in your approach or not - and hang on.
So then what happened?
Copyright 1995 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved. Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514