We just finished our 2012 Youth Week and all I can say is that these young folks came ready to go, and go they did. The normal process is that the first couple of days are uphill, and then we start to get a real flow of worship, the word and their hearts responding to the word.
Usually we start Sunday night with worship and a bit of orientation. Then the youth go on to snack bar and off to their rooms to get to know each other and their counselors. If all goes smooth, we’re off to a good start.
Sunday night worship began, they pushed back the chairs, and almost all of them came up front and they stepped right into worship. It was great! Monday night, after another great time of worship and the word, ten came up to get saved and another twenty or so came up to dedicate their lives more fully to the Lord. Next thing, Pastor Ken Gerry asked them how many would like to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit (we usually get there Thursday night) and the Lord filled many of them as they opened their mouths and began to speak in tongues as the Spirit fell on them. It was tremendous! The next morning, Tuesday, we prayed and encouraged them further in the Holy Spirit. One young man in particular got so filled with the Holy Spirit in the 9:30 am service that he was still there until 3:00 pm, speaking in tongues and interceding for many issues in prayer as the Lord just continued to sweep over him. I don’t know about you, but for me that is just down right exciting to witness!
Well that’s not the end; it was only Tuesday morning. I have to confess, I was really wondering how that could be built upon. What the Lord did was to increase the level of His presence and the depth of our worship reflected that depth as well. These young people worship like they had been in a place of free worship all their lives. Pastor Ken and I just kept saying to them and each other how glad we were just to be there and participate with them.
On Saturday morning before they left, we went around the room and each one gave a short testimony. Almost every one of them spoke (that in itself is a miracle) and what they said was how much the Lord had done in them and that they were going to go home and stand for the Lord in their homes, in their schools and in their churches.
In the end, I believe that the Lord strengthened them and set them on fire to be able to go back home and take what they had gotten from the Lord and stand fast in the liberty they had gained.
- Jack Picataggi, President