October/November 2013 - Vol. 70
Youth On Fire for God

A New Pentecost Among Our Youth
by Georges Farhat

This past August the European Region of the Sword of the Spirit organized a PTI Youth program in Germany. The program was lead by Georges Farhat along with 6 other staff workers. Some 50 youth from Sword of the Spirit communities in Europe took part in the weeklong program. There were a variety of activities for the young people, including worship, discussion groups, fun games, arts and crafts, drama and the deadly cinnamon challenge. The older youth (16-17 years old, "Minions") played a very significant role in the program. They were very positive and engaging, wholeheartedly serving their younger brothers and sisters.

Our Citizens of Heaven prayer room 
During one morning session all the youth were busy preparing the prayer stations in what we called our Citizens of Heaven prayer room. We set up prayer stations in the room for a variety of special prayer intentions, such as prayer for repentance, worship, and intercession. The youth could choose which stations they wanted to join in for prayer. When evening came we decided to return to our "Citizens of Heaven" room, to continue our time of prayer for the evening. We sang some worship songs and then I shared for few minutes about our identity in Christ, and that he is alive and his Kingdom is amongst us. His Spirit wants to equip us and awaken in us a new desire to love God and to make him loved. As I was speaking I saw stars in their eyes, the Spirit was already leading us to go deeper in the river of God’s mercy and grace. Then we took time to go around the prayer stations. This time was one of repentance and coming back to the Lord, I saw many of our youth in tears presenting their lives, hopes and dreams before God.

One of the guys wrote his sin on a piece of paper and as soon as he put it in the “sin bin,” it tore by itself! In amazement and fear he wrote another sin of his and it did the same. He felt God’s powerful presence surrounding him and he heard Him say: “Don’t be afraid! I have conquered and destroyed the bondage of sin in your life…” This young man went on, encouraging all the lads to do the same, as God wanted to deal with their sins.

The Spirit took us by surprise
We kept on, having an amazing prayer time. God spoke with our young people and they made serious decisions for His kingdom. When I looked up at the clock it was 10.20 pm, and so we thought it would be a good idea to close our time by asking all those who had felt God’s presence or made a decision to come to the middle of the room so that we could pray with them. To our surprise, everyone joined in and then Joe Turner, from the Antioch community in London, played a song and by the end of this song the place where we were meeting was shaken and we were filled with the Holy Spirit! We started shouting out words of praise and exaltation to God. Some were kneeling, some crying, some lifting their hands up high, some praising in tongues, some shouting out loud words of exaltation to God, some prophesying. One our German youth told us that she didn’t know any of the English songs, but somehow she was singing along and that was amazing for her.

The place where we were meeting trembled and shook 
Rather than ending our prayer time at 10.30 pm, we sensed that the Holy Spirit was leading us to continue in prayer which lased until 1:30 am. Nobody wanted to leave the room during the whole time of prayer! Around midnight I decided to find some bottled water for the youth. As I walked down the hallway I met Bruce Yocum (one of the main speakers at the Pastoral Training Institute). I told Bruce that a new Pentecost was happening with the youth in the prayer room, so he decided to join us in our prayer session.

The youth felt that Christ was very much alive and at work amongst them. They were prophesying and they saw images and visions.I recalled from the Book of Acts what the Holy Spirit did on the Feast of Pentecost amongst the early church: 

“While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence. The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.” Acts 4:31-33
Our response
Here are three responses we are making to what God has done with our youth.
1. First, we are filled with gratitude and we continue to give thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who conquered death and sin on the Cross and gave us the fullness of life in his resurrection through the power of the Holy Spirit.

2. We are doing some follow up in the communities and households with the youth who attended the PTI. We want to encourage the youth to tell their community about their own experience of the Holy Spirit's work in their lives and the decisions they have made for Christ

3. We are very encouraged! God is powerfully at work amongst our youth. We expect the Holy Spirit to continue his work of transforming the hearts and minds of our teenagers. God wants to use them in boldly speaking to their friends and others about Christ, even in the face of a secular atheistic culture that pervades many schools and places here in Europe. The Holy Spirit is equipping our young people to be light and salt of the earth, to witness his love and presence. We want to continue to encourage and support them in witnessing boldly to others. 

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