Wednesday, February 4, 2009

FastBreak Report and More!

"Apart from Me you can do nothing . . ." John 15:5

In the past several months, God has impressed this verse strongly upon my heart. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. It is an acknowledgment of utter dependence on God . . . for life and breath, for shelter and bread, in relationships and in ministry. In the weeks preceding FastBreak, recognizing that it is God who brings the change that we so desperately desire, our ministry committed to praying incessantly and specifically for the students who would be attending the conference. Thank you for joining us in prayer! God demonstrated His power to us during FastBreak and we are still rejoicing in the aftermath of the conference . . .
Come and Listen To What He's Done!
On the first night of the FastBreak conference, Rani noticed that her friend, Mariah, seemed downcast. Rani had invited Mariah to the conference in hopes that her friend might finally recognize her need for Christ. “I had been talking to her about a relationship with God since our freshman year, but she had never responded,” Rani shares. Now a junior, Mariah was feeling a jumble of emotions on that night of the conference—guilt, low self-worth, incompetence. Rani tried to encourage her and once more prayed her friend would receive Christ. The following night, after the events of the evening were over, Rani noticed that Mariah seemed cheerful. “What’s going on?” Rani asked her friend, and Mariah explained, “I feel more peaceful now.” “What happened? What’s changed?” Rani wanted to know.

Then Mariah said the words Rani had been praying to hear since their freshman year, “I received Christ tonight!”

Rani looks forward to coming alongside Mariah as they finish out basketball season together and graduate together next year.

Yesenia thought she came to FastBreak because it was an opportunity for her to spend time with her older brother, whom she admires. But God had a bigger, eternally significant purpose in mind. On the second night of the conference, as she heard the speaker describe the work of Christ on the cross, and the implications of His sacrifice, Yesenia was struck by a sudden, unprecedented awareness of God’s love for her. After the evening session was over, Jacquelynn, an adult volunteer, found Yesenia crying back in the cabin. Jacquelynn found out that Yesenia had surrendered her life to Christ that evening.

“You know that feeling you get when you’re high [on drugs]?” Yesenia asked, desperately grasping for words to describe what was going on inside of her, “I feel that way right now! I can’t believe I’ve missed out on something so great for so long.”

As Jacquelynn celebrated with her, Yesenia disclosed that she had been making a lot of unhealthy choices in life, and she recognized a need to leave those things behind. Since she returned from FastBreak, Yesenia has asked her mother for forgiveness for wrongs done in the past, and their relationship has taken a new turn for the better. Yesenia has also shared her testimony with her non-Christian friends. “They don’t understand. I really want them to experience what I’ve experienced.” Yesenia has joined a girls’ Bible study and has committed to praying for the salvation of her lost friends.

Jordan, a junior at Newman Smith High School, used to identify himself as gay. During the conference, he felt the Holy Spirit’s conviction regarding homosexuality. On the last night of the conference, he sent a text message to another student, Natalie, telling her: “I am no longer gay. I no longer lust for men.”

A few days later, when they returned to school, Natalie happened to walk by as Jordan was telling a student that he is no longer gay. The student laughed at him and said, “That doesn’t just happen.” Natalie heard Jordan affirm that he is no longer in bondage to homosexuality.

That same day, a boy asked a student leader, Rani, “Have you heard that Jordan is no longer gay?” Rani responded, “He was at a conference this past weekend and Jesus changed his life.” Jordan continues to bear witness to how God has changed his life, and he has been the talk of the school since the conference.

Praise God for His faithfulness!

Photos from FastBreak!

Super Bowl Party

Every year, Student Venture hosts a Super Bowl party to which our student leaders are encouraged to invite their non-Christian friends. This year, we packed the house again with over 100 students, many of whom had never been to a Student Venture outreach. During half-time, we gathered the students to listen to a testimony and the Gospel. Caleb, a senior at Newman Smith High School, shared the story of how God delivered him from anger and violent behavior, and Rani, a junior, presented the plan of salvation. Four students received Christ that evening!

Pictures from the Super Bowl Party.
Go, Therefore . . . To Carrollton, and To The World . . .
One of our student leaders, Rani (above, third picture), has been instrumental in leading several of her friends at Newman Smith High to Christ, or encouraging them to grow in their walk with God. Now, in obedience to God's call, she will be taking the Gospel of Christ beyond the borders of Carrollton, TX :) This March, she will have the opportunity to go on a Student Venture international mission trip to Budapest, Hungary, for two weeks. She has also challenged her friend, Hannah (standing next to Rani in the picture, holding the poster) to come along on this mission trip as a next step in her Christian discipleship. Please pray for these young women as they prepare and raise funds to take the Hope of Christ to their peers in Budapest.
Prayer Requests
Ask the Lord to continue to sustain Mariah, Yesenia, and Jordan as they allow Him to continue His work of transformation in their lives.
Pray for our new and previously existing Bible studies, that they would be effective in equipping students to glorify God with their lives and be missionaries at their schools.
Commit our student leaders to God's keeping. Ask that they would not be distracted by the cares of this world, but that they would "fix their eyes on Jesus, the author and the perfecter of their faith."
Thank you for your support and prayers!


Matt said...

Dear Simi,

We have the internet now! Also, we are excited that Yesenia and Mariah accepted Christ at FastBreak!

We love you,
Matthew and Laura :)

Kristen said...

You must be soooo excited!! I know that I am. What amazing stories.
Praying for you. :)