Night one the group sang on the Ocean City Board Walk, they sang their hearts out. There were tons of people mocking them and some that loved it and some that walked right by them. The part that spoke to my heart the most was that none of that mattered to them. We are called to spread the good news not make people accept us, or the message itself. I think that is the most important part for us to realize, our calling is simply telling others about Jesus. It is the Holy Spirits job to convict hearts and really change the heart. I was truly blown away by the amount of people who at least stopped to hear what this was all about. I can’t help but wonder how many seeds were planted in hearts that night.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON TEENCHALLENGE: The church runs this thing called teen challenge which is a Christ-centered organization that offers aid and support to men, women and families suffering from life-controlling problems with drugs alcohol or crimes. They love them and give them free housing ! There are so many incredible testimonies that came from this organization. Jimmy Jack is one of them his friend Billy and him had enough money to buy four bags of heroine. They got it and Jimmy snorted one bag of it and injected the other three bags into Billy. Before the finished Billy was turning blue and not breathing on the streets. Jimmy says in Lower Manhattan they had no help he remembers crying out to God Please don’t let Billy die! As he looked at Billy’s lifeless body out of nowhere an ambulance van pulls up and the older man asks him what is going on here Jimmy quickly responds heroine overdose. The paramedics did everything in their power to revive him and eventually started to shake their heads like there were no other options left. Jimmy started crying out to God and bargaining with him and genuinely saying he would do whatever God wanted him to just don’t let billy die. He looked over at the van and Billy had the resurrection power flowing through him. He ripped the needles out of his arms and jumped out off the stretcher. He says he heard a voice in his spirit say ‘I showed you’ it immediately brought him back to the church service earlier that evening when the pastor prayed that God would show Jimmy he was real and that he did. During a drug deal his van was stolen and he found a screwdriver on the ground and was going to kill whoever stole his van if he found it but after not finding it he got the bus to take him to a gun slinging and knife throwing bar; after drinking lots he saw a guy glaring at him from down the bar and he went after him right at that time Georgio Degaldo saw him and went in after him. He told him about teen challenge and that is where he went. After many circumstances Jimmy gave his life to God..
Another shorter story: One of the guys from teen challenge was into drugs and alcohol and he had a rough life. His brother hung himself and his sister died in a car accident and two weeks ago tried to hang himself and was unsuccessful and now is completely in love with Jesus.
Monday we woke up and had about a five hour drive to Utica New York. They were going to perform a full show for the New Hartford United Methodist Church. The church was so very welcoming and had pizza ready for everyone to eat dinner. It turns out that a lot technically went wrong with soloist mics not working and some other things. However I can say one thing I think this was a break through point in the choir, I have never seen that many of them worshipping and actually legitimately meaning every word they were singing. It brought me to tears watching and listening to them and thinking that things won’t ever be perfect and that doesn’t matter we need to give God all we have in every circumstance. There was an absolute tangible presence of the Holy Spirit in that place and God was there.
I am so proud of the youth for worshipping with everything in them and truly showing the love of Christ to everyone around them. I am so excited for the friendships that have formed and fire that has been ignited in the souls of everyone!