Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Sunday, na na na

Sorry about the title of this blog. It was the first thing I thought of when I was thinking of a tile for my Sunday recap. And I know that it is supposed to be Monday Monday (na na, nanana), but I still hope it leaves you humming that jingle in your head for a few minutes. So, I haven't sat down and wrote down my thoughts for a week or two and as I sit down on my sofa before I call it a day and read some of the Good Book, I felt like recapping my day.

First, it was Mission Sunday at church today. Here they announced the different mission trips the church is taking in 2008. Teams are heading to India, Ghana, Guatemala, Spain, Camp Hope, Born Again Blessings (local ministry here in Marietta, and last and certainly not least, Scotland! Annie Downs, Katie Bedingfield, Tom Tanner and myself have the wonderful opportunity to lead a team back to Scotland to put on another youth camp. I've yet to sit down and compile my thoughts and emotions from last year's camp. In one word...amazing! For more day-by-day details you can check out the blog, I'm just going to touch on a few things that ministered to me the most. To start, the youth are stinkin incredible. From the first day we arrived there the kids befriended us and opened up to us. There wasn't that day or two of awkwardness. Their hearts were so soft and open to whatever we were doing, and more importantly, to whatever God was doing! Scotland is a very dark country and the younger generation is forgotten in man's eyes. But thankfully, not in God's eyes. He has amazing Kingdom plans for the youth there. Scotland has had numerous revivals, but none of them have stood the test of time because the church is dead. I'm being honest, the church is almost non-existent. There are a few there that are thriving (like the one we are working with), but a majority of them are simply cold. There have been numerous prophetic words given to missionaries and pastors over there saying God is bringing another revival to Scotland, and He is going to do it through the youth. After being there, I believe it with my whole heart. Over half of the members of the church we are working with are youth! And let me tell you, the youth of this church are going to move mountains in Scotland, bringing God's glory and the Kingdom of Heaven to Scotland and to the ends of the earth!

During the camp, I had the priviledge of leading worship. If you don't know me, my heart is broken for the younger generation and I have a longing to see youth truly grasp what it means to WORSHIP. So I had a bird's eye view of how God moved in and transformed many lives that week. The first night of worship was tough. Most of them just sat there and watched me, Andrew Taulbee and Elizabeth Smith lead songs. However, as the week progressed, their hearts opened, and God began to take a hold of their lives! This was definitely made evident in the worship services. Each night more and more youth remained standing, some even closed their eyes! Crazy I know. But then on Thursday night, heaven broke open. That night Annie had an awesome talk on Worship; that there is more to worship than just singing's how you live your life. Worship is laughing with your friends. Worship is being alone in nature, sitting in awe of God's creation. Worship is reading your Bible. Worship is honoring your parents. Worship is being a friend to the lonely. Worship is serving others. Worship is gathering together and lifting up the only Name that is worthy to be lifted up. And that is what we did. I swear, after Annie's message we worshipped for close to 2 and a half hours! Guys and girls, young and old, stood in awe of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with arms high and their heart completely abandoned to Him. Some were on their knees. Some wept. Some had an overwhelming joy written all over their faces. I stood there and soaked it all in. I was so thankful of the opportunity God gave me to be a part of the beginning of a huge move of God sweeping across Scotland. It got to a point that night where I was literally out of songs to play. I even had to ask for requests! Well...I tried to ask, my voice was pretty much shot! Even after the service ended the kids continued to worship together in their rooms (and showers!). Tears welled up in my eyes as I walked the halls and heard boys, whose ages ranged from 8-15, sing with all of their heart Love Song, Holy, For Who You Are and Blessed be Your Name. I will say it was more of singing and crying mixed together, but it was still altogether beautiful and moving.

I can't wait to go back! We are leaving July 9th and returning July 23rd, with a youth camp stuck in the middle. Our goal this time is to not just have our team put on the camp, but to really get the adult leaders over there involved. We want to teach and train them to put on youth camps in the future on their own so if there ever comes a day when we don't make the trip to Scotland, they will be fully prepared to keep it going. Don't get me wrong, I believe Riverstone (and myself) will be involved with putting on annual youth camps for many years to come. But this is truly a partnershp; Riverstone partnering with their church, as we both partner with God and jump into His river that is flowing through Scotland.

So if reading this moves your heart, join us. Join us as we pour into the youth of Scotland to bring God's light to a dark country; to breath life into the dead and dry bones!

I'll leave you with one of the most profound statements I have ever heard (and it came from one of the youth):

"I felt the love of 5 million people, then I realized it was just God." WOW!

Grace and peace.


ManUtd17 said...

Between you and Annie and Cheryl, every time I turn around, someone else is talking about Scotland. I may need to fill out that application I picked up yesterday.

Boggsy said...

Come on!

Annie said...

Justin, there is NO ONE I would rather lead with. I want to write more words about that, but I can't make them come out right. But you know.

Bill Pinto, don't play with our emotions. You're coming.

seantk said...

Oh!! I want to go back so much. Was thinking about it today. I'm praying for God to open the door for our family to go --- one day.

I love Scotland.

Boggsy said...

Ditto Annie, ditto...