Hello Sweet Cheer: Youth Conference

4.11.2012

Youth Conference

This week I'm heading back over to posting about my Haiti trip!

     One of the things we had the opportunity to do was lead a conference for the local youth.  As most of you know my calling lies with teen girls and women, so working with youth is always exciting for me!  Myself and a team of people going on the trip planned out each days topic and skit.  


     We decided to go in the direction of Sex & Relationships for the entire week.  With that, we wanted to somewhat ease into the heavier stuff!  We started with a sermon on Community & Accountability.  We talked about the importance of community and accountability, how to find it, what it should look like, etc.  The next day was entitled "The Purpose of Sex", where Elise Hurst and Taylor Noon spoke about what God intended sex to be, what the Bible says about sex and how it is supposed to be a good thing.  The third day we talked about a couple different things.  Marie spoke on self-worth, David talked about what it means to be a man of God, how to treat women, etc.  The fourth day was the day I spoke alongside a guy named Devyn.  We spoke on Sexual Healing and Sexual Abuse.  We talked about what healing is, what it means to be healed, HOW are we healed, etc.  I got to share a little bit of my personal testimony which was super scary.  I felt like God was prompting me to be open and honest about my life so I shared some pretty personal stuff.  I hope it was effective and I hope they listened.



     One of the things the Lord taught me on this trip was that He wants me to be vulnerable and get outside my comfort zone.  He showed me that a lot of what He wants from me is openness with people, and that's where my ministry is going to be the most fruitful and effective.  

     Another huge thing I learned throughout the trip was that it's not about the results.  I had a few different moments where the Lord was saying, "Be obedient, do what I'm asking of you."  So in those moments I obeyed, but nothing really came of it.  I stepped outside of myself and did what God asked me to do, but NO ONE came to Jesus?  Nobody fell on their face and repented?!  There was no big Holy Spirit moment!?  How could that be?  Here's what I learned: God doesn't ask us to do things because we're going to see immediate results.  He doesn't always ask us to do things that elicit huge response.  A very wise man I know once said, "Sometimes it takes 28 times of hearing about Jesus for someone to come to the Lord.  And we never know if we're number 1, number 15, or number 28."  The moral there is that we are ALWAYS called to be obedient to the things the Lord asks of us, but we are not always called to be number 28.  

Back to talking about the youth conference...


    So along with giving sermons each day of the conference we broke up into small groups.  We had three girls groups and the guys probably had about five groups.  The idea is that those groups are where they can ask questions, talk about what they're dealing with, etc.  It was pretty difficult to get them to open up to us and to be honest, I was pretty discouraged the whole week because they weren't responsive at all, really.  This was one of those instances where the Lord was teaching me that it's not about results.  I had to put myself in their shoes and think that if I was 15 or 16 years old at a conference here in the states, I probably wouldn't pour my heart out in a short four days.  I might take me a little longer than that to open up as well.  So I walked away hoping and praying that what we had said and asked had made some type of an influence on them.


    About four days after we returned from the US we heard from Jody (the missionary we worked with in Haiti) that a few teens had come forward after we left.  My heart BURST with Joy when I got that news!  To think that I walked away just HOPING that the Lord had stirred something in them through what we talked about, and a few teens had actually COME FORWARD, CONFESSED what they knew, or what had happened to them... WOW!  I was in such awe of what God was doing through us that we didn't even know about!  AMEN!

    I think that's enough for today.  Hopefully this isn't too lengthy, but there's just SO much to say about this amazing trip!  Thanks for reading 'til the end!

Peace & Blessings!

Mere

"And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it." 2 John 1:6

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