Monday, November 29, 2004
It's been a great fall in Student Venture with lots of teenagers hearing about how they can begin a personal relationship with God. Fall is always a crazy busy, but really fun, time of the year because there is so much going on. New kids are getting involved, many are hearing the Gospel for the first time, and lives are being changed right before your eyes. It's an exciting time. Below, I've highlighted five stories from around the country that will give you a feel for what we get to see on a regular basis. I'm sure you'll be encouraged as you get a glimpse of what God is doing.
Eli Gomez is senior involved with Student Venture at Greenway High School in Phoenix, AZ. This year, he has taken on a great challenge from the Lord! Eli has begun to rally students to pray every morning before school for the purpose of sharing the Gospel with every student at Greenway before the end of this school year! His plan includes praying for opportunities with specific individuals and then in September, he and the other students from SV small groups began to share their faith with those students they have been praying for. Since school began in August, more than 50 young people have received Christ!
Through Student Venture football team outreaches at four high schools, 67 teenagers have received Christ, and at an ROTC outreach 12 young men trusted Christ. At Brainerd High, three Christian students are leading Bible studies at lunch with 25-40 students attending each study.
During drill team practice at Katy High School last month, a teenage girl collapsed and died of an enlarged heart. The next day, the drill team teacher asked if anyone had anything to share. One of the senior girls involved in Student Venture shared her testimony of knowing Christ, then another leader shared the gospel and invited them to receive Christ. Sixteen girls raised their hands indicating they did so. At this school in the last year and a half, over 300 teenagers have indicated decisions for Christ.
In the last two weeks of September, there were three group outreaches at Marietta High School. In all, over 80 students heard about how they could begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. For each of these groups (band, volleyball and cheerleaders), we shared a motivational talk about unity and the need for our attitudes, actions, and hearts to be changed. At the end of our talks, we invited students who were interested in hearing more about how God could change their hearts to an outreach the following day. More than 20 of these students indicated they wanted to learn more about a relationship with God!
New York City:
Outside FDR high school in New York City, intern Johnny Lopez and I, (staff member, Kevin Young) were hanging out with a gang of tough-looking guys and girls. They were curious about us, and wanted to know if we were cops. When they found out we were youth ministers, they drew near and began to listen. Johnny brings street language and street toughness to his gospel presentation that penetrates where kids feel. Over the course of an hour, I watched as the Spirit opened their eyes to the truth. Before we parted, Johnny had all eight hold hands in a circle and pray to receive Christ in unison. Their first question was, "Are you coming back?" "Absolutely!"