Life 2019: Pray for Us

awaken life 2019 alliance youth

This month I wanted to go over ways that you can specifically pray for our Life trip in July. Before that, I want to take a moment to sincerely thank you for investing in this generation and believing that God will use them now and in the years to come to glorify God’s Kingdom. Your love and care for the teenagers are evident as I have seen your support flow in, and it touches me to see some of you praying for the teenagers. Thank You! 

Here are five specific ways to pray for the teenagers going to Life Conference this year: 

1. God would work in them and through them, and that they will have an open heart and mind to what God shows them (Psalm 119:18). 

2. Pray that God will provide youth leaders (myself and another adult) many opportunities to build meaningful relationships with the teenagers as we live life with them for a week. Specifically, for “discipleship” moments where we can relate God’s Word to their lives, challenging them to grow. 

3. We will talk about prayer at the Life Conference, and this is a chance for them to “go deeper into the life we have in and with Jesus”. Please pray that they will go deeper! 

4. During the week we will get to display Christ’s love with a large body of student believers by serving the Central Florida area. Pray that as we talk about serving and as we serve there that it will ignite a desire for them to become servants for Christ in our church and to be “salt and light” in their communities when they come back home. 

5. Another topic at LIFE is "Justice." There will be a hands-on experience where they will learn about slavery issues, both locally and globally. They will not just learn about it but will know what God is calling them to do about it, (Hebrews 13:3). Ask for God to show them precisely how He wants to use them in the world as they learn about "justice." 

Thank you for your investment and for spending much time in prayer for this trip. “Now to him who can do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (English Standard Version, Ephesians 3:20-21). 

An Incredible Year

The year 2017 has been incredible for Circle Drive Students, and when I look back, I see how the Lord has been working in them. Please allow me to share some of these moments with you. 

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When youth group on Sunday Night's kicked off this school year, the youth group split into two different times. Middle School starts at 4:30 pm and ends at 6:00 pm. Sr. High begins at 6:30 and ends at 8:00 pm. We made this decision through much prayer, and the Lord has blessed the youth ministry. There have been many new faces for Middle School, and we have seen a few new faces in Sr. High. It has been great to see the Lord work in both groups! 

This Fall we hosted a few outreach events, with the purpose of allowing our students to invite friends. The main event that God's hand was in was Reverb. This was an all-night event full of fun packed activities, held in Binghamton and put on by Word of Life Ministries - All for the sake of sharing the Gospel with teenagers. During this time three of our teens accepted Jesus as their Savior and five of them dedicated their lives for Him to use!!! Please pray that they will continue to grow in their walk with Jesus. 

Youth group and all the activities that take place, could not have been done without the volunteers that we have each Sunday night or the chaperones that sacrificed a night of sleep to go to Reverb and the drivers that got up at 4 am to pick us up (on the first day of hunting no less!) And don't forget the parents/volunteers that helped with Black Light Dodgeball, and the Candy Fundraiser. Thank you for your time and for serving God by helping us out! Your heart for youth is evident, in a culture where teens are often overlooked and left to figure out life on their own as best they can. Adults who truly care can make all the difference in the world. 

Looking back over the course of the year and how the Lord has blessed this ministry gives me a desire to say, "My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together". (Psalm 34:2-3). 

Envision Cleveland - Short Term Youth Trip

This month I wanted to take some time to tell you about our mission trip to Cleveland, OH this summer. Megan and I along with Josiah VonBerg will be taking 10 students on a week-long adventure to the inner city of Cleveland. Did you know that there are over one hundred different languages spoken in Cleveland? Most people don't think of this city as being so diverse but it is one of the top 5 depositories for refugees in the country. There is a great need for Jesus in the city of Cleveland so our goal is to help in any way we can.

The C&MA makes it a priority to bring the gospel to the darkest places on the globe. A lot of times these nations are overseas in cities that have never heard of Jesus but sometimes they're within a day’s drive from us. The short term sending agency for the Alliance is called Envision and Cleveland is one of their many sites.

Envision Cleveland seeks to partner with local churches in the city to reach those that don't know Jesus. Some of the ministries we have an opportunity to take part in are refugee ministry, VBS, health clinics, sports camps, construction work, beautification, and urban gardening. Obviously we won't be able to do all of those in one week but as the weeks draw closer we will know more about what we'll be doing and how the students can use their gifts and talents to best serve the city and God.

We thank God that there are so many teens in our church that have a desire to look past themselves and help others. I think this trip will not only benefit the city of Cleveland but will have a huge impact on our students as well. Our prayer is that they take this experience and bring something back with them so they can serve their own communities. Safety is something that is often prayed for when traveling and we definitely want students to be safe but I would encourage you to pray not just for safety but for these kids to truly be willing to say "Yes" to Jesus.

Jesus said that "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. "For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? - Luke 9:3-25.

This past week during both worship services, you should have received a card reminding you to pray for an individual student who is going on the trip. I want to challenge you to put the card somewhere where you'll see it every day and it will remind you to pray. As much as we need prayer support many of these students still have some money left to raise so please consider how God may lead you to give.

It is our desire to not only bring students to Cleveland but to be able to meet a financial need while we're down there as well. Envision Cleveland has done a great job meeting needs in their community by giving out bicycles to refugees but they're discovering that some of these bikes are getting stolen. Envision Cleveland has asked us to consider raising an extra $1000 to pay for bike locks for these refugees. So please pray about how you can partner with us to reach this community in need