Thank you for praying for Saturday’s Youth Conference, “Breaking Free”. The Lord showed up and I have many praise reports about that day:
The conference began with a performance from Stanton Baptist’s drama team- “Hyped Up For Him”. A month ago I was asked to choreograph and teach a drama to the group of nine students, and it was such a blessing to see them perform after working so hard to perfect it. The song that they performed to is called “Hope For The Nations” and the message went along with the theme of the conference- that Jesus can break every chain and bring hope to the nations. It was a perfect way to start out the day! Following the drama team, Bo Warren really kicked things off by playing some music. He is already known in the community, so it was exciting for the students to be able to hear him use his God-given gift again. Break Out Sessions came next. I was anxious to see how many young girls signed up for my modesty and purity class called “Pure Beauty” and I was excited when I had a full classroom of girls! The main message that was preached was this: God can make all things new. I shared my personal struggles with modesty and purity, which was a perfect way to share the gospel. My prayer is that the girls were encouraged to allow God to change their perspective on what modesty and purity really means. It is not a set of rules- purity is about our heart’s condition. There were many other classes available to the students including: Music ministry, Local and foreign missions, Answers to life’s tough questions, and Creative Ministry.
After lunch, the students gathered back into the gym. Another drama team called “Anonymous” performed a few different songs before Bo Warren took the stage again. His worship was so spirit filled and it really prepared our hearts to receive the message from our speaker, Jeff Sparks. The gospel message also went along with the theme “Breaking Free”. The speaker was enthusiastic and passionate while teaching that Jesus can break the chains of sin in our life. Fifteen students responded to message that day by receiving Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. This year’s conference was the 4th “Breaking Free” that has been held here in Stanton, KY (it has become an annual event), but there was something special about this conference- it was the very first time that students have ever made personal commitments to follow Jesus! And 15 students?! THAT’S AMAZING! I believe that God has BIG things in store for the youth in Powell County for 2013 and I am so exciting to be a part of it!
After the students said a prayer to accept the Lord into their hearts, they were led into the front hallway to pray again with the pastors of the community. As I was sitting in the audience, the Lord put it on my heart to walk down to where they were and see if anyone wanted me to pray for them. I am SO glad that I obeyed. A group of five girls walked right up to me and began asking questions like “What do I do now? How do I grow?” or “How can I become a better christian? What else can I do to serve God?”. While another band called Oakland was playing worship to close out the conference, I sat in the hallway with the group of girls and answered all of their questions to the best of my ability. One girl in particular had come to my purity class and said that she related to the things that I shared in my testimony. She began weeping while telling me that she needed Jesus to help her family. It was such a God-filled moment as all of us girls huddled around each other praying for her and sharing her burden. The love of God was so evident to these girls and you can see in their eyes and they are ready to live a holier life devoted to Jesus. I exchanged numbers with the girls and I hope to be able to meet again with them soon! After talking, we decided to go back into the gym and worship with everyone to the last song: “Beautiful Things”. What a great message to end the conference- “You make beautiful things out of us”.
To conclude, I want to say this: I believe that what made this conference different than the previous three is one thing… GOD was put first and the main focus was the gospel. It is so easy to get wrapped up in focusing on ministries, or performances, or minor details. I know because I am on the committee that plans the conference. As humans, we all want to take control. I know I did. But at the end of it all, we had to surrender it to the Lord. This wasn’t our conference, it was HIS conference. & boy, did He do a work that day! Praise God! Praise God for the students that dedicated their lives! Praise God for the students that are now closer to the Lord! And praise God for the plans that He has for the youth in Powell County for 2013!!!
*There were approx. 160 students that attended the conference.