Last year we had 28 youth and six counselors; this year we had 39 youth and 7 counselors, plus a woman who went along to help take care of the youngest youth at camp - Jeff & Amy's one week old baby, Mercy! (Jeff & Amy are our youth pastors).
An attack, of course. Tuesday was major warfare. I know I had every insecurity, fear, and sense of inadequacy I'd ever dealt with hit me like a tidal wave, and apparently a lot of other people experienced similar things. "Having done all, stand" was where I was left. But once I determined to stand fast no matter what (as opposed to the almost overwhelming desire to slink back to Austin), I was free. That night saw several more kids break through, with one who is dear to my heart getting saved.
The focus of prayer most nights was just getting closer to God. Until that was done, there really wasn't any other prayer. But out of that flowed healing, love, forgiveness, total dedication, and a gazillion other great things.
Last year Matt really found the Lord. He had to go home to another state, and found no fellowship, so he's had a hard year. I was really praying for the Lord to give Matt such a desire for God that nothing could keep him away or discourage him. Tuesday night, he couldn't wait to share. "God gave me an achin' in my heart for Him!" And so He did!
Last year, I also mentioned that a young lady, R., had received a prophecy (through our pastor) that she would be captain of the cheerleading squad. At the tail end of this past school year (her junior year), she was made captain of the cheerleading squad! Go, God!
Another kid - call him Mike (the same guy who last year got rid of a bunch of music like Megadeath), after one of the worship services, was really pumped. "That was better than Pearl Jam!" Now that's awesome!
Oh, and the counselors, too. 8^)
The first night back, one kid (Mike again) was hanging out with a friend, who started asking what on earth had happened - he was so different! So Mike told him, and the friend wanted to know this Jesus that had given Mike this peace & joy, and prayed right there! One of the shyest girls you could ever meet (assume her name is Jenny), who would never dream of witnessing, because religion is ``a private thing'', was out singing in the streets that night in her neighborhood, and ended up sharing her experience with God with a friend who asked what was going on. Most parents felt like they got new kids instead of their old ones back.
Another one is still waiting to see what will happen, but the third is in serious rebellion. We're praying for her extra hard.
Our pastors where there again this year, and had to take Tiffany, their 8 year old daughter with brain tumors. Between treatments (which they have stopped) and the tumors returning after an operation, she was in a lot of pain, extremely listless, hates to move. But twice, after prayer (once at camp by half the camp!) and once at church right after we returned, she ended up dancing with the youth (and some adults - yeehah!) in the ``worship pit''. God had spoken that she would be the means of turning many of His peoples' hearts towards revival (she has been) and that she is healed. Her family (the Halls) have been battling a lot of things - fear, depression, etc, but are trusting God to do what He has spoken. Meanwhile, a lot of people have gotten a lot more serious about seeking God because of Tiffany's condition.
What was it Joel said about young and old, dreams and visions? We saw it, and are seeing it. Kids that normally hang back are ready to worship, to pray with people. This is what God is showing us He wants to do in RRC, and throughout the church. He has spoken through various people that He wants to start revivals in many spots at once. He called us to no longer be ``youth'' and ``the rest of the church'', but one body. (Yes!)
He has also spoken to several of us about this:
We need faith to raise the dead. What the physical-temporal ramifications of this for Tiffany are I don't know, but He has told several of us this is what we need. According to the doctors, she's already just walking dead. This isn't an overnight thing - we have to be in it for the long haul.This is heavily tied in to the vision He's given us for revival. That as we really seek Him, and dwell in His presence, prayers for healing will naturally flow, and the healing (many types, not just Tiffany's) will supernaturally flow. This is what we saw happen at camp, and He told at least two of us that what we saw at camp was a foretaste, and in a way a vision, of what He wants to be doing throughout the church.
Copyright 1996 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