each year my church hosts SOS (summer of service). It is a week long event for middle school and high school students. It's in it's 20th year and is kinda a big deal (like 1,000 kids each year). These kiddos (ok teens and tweens) spend their day serving the city of cincinnati in various ways and in various areas. What they do is awesome! Of course, these kids are also built up- there is awesome worship that goes on, and a lesson is preached, and each year kids come to know the Lord.
I wanted to help this year- but plans kept changing. So last night I just showed up and said "where to you need me". I kept this in mind all night. I was on the 'greeters' team which meant that i was to usher the students into the auditorium from all over the grounds (caught a couple getting close by the pond..) and make sure that students only went to the bathroom and back into the auditorium. pretty simple job, I just had to do it for several hours (this being after my one hour of just walking the grounds making sure everyone was safe).
As the night was wrapping up the students were invited to pray, to seek prayer. The prayer team (and pastors) took to the front to pray with students.. but the students kept coming, and the adults ran out fast. I have been on prayer teams at other churches, and led youth groups- so i jumped in to fill the need.
I was unprepared, it had been a few years since serving in that capacity. The first girl I prayed with filled me with joy- because I knew God was working in her, and she was coming to know him more. As soon as we were done there were call outs for girls who were seeking prayer (because with teens and young adults serving we pray girl to girl guy to guy). Later in the night there was a young man in our area weeping. The man in charge was not comfortable to taking with him (not a gift of his)- and asked if I would be comfortable- with everyone in proximity it seemed no harm.
I was broken. I was weeping in his pain. I knew what he was feeling. But, I could do nothing. Of course, we prayed. But my words were not encouraging to him, they were words echoed over and over. This kid is going through some serious spiritual warfare. He is breaking past his breaking point. Other pastors said to keep an eye out- and many were praying for him last night.
So my prayer- God, give him strength, and hope. Do not let him give up.
Lives are being changed, there are amazing things going on with SOS. Pray for those 1,000 students- pray for our city
|tonight's worship, from the balcony|