Transform 2015 begins in just a few days, we actually leave on Friday, July 10, to go to Rome. We have several things going on during the conference and outreach for which we covet your prayers.
1. We are leading the children’s ministry during the conference for the kids of the leadership coming to Transform.
Jeana McCurry is leading an ever shrinking team (due to illness) of Margie Scurlock and Regan Owens. They will be doing a VBS in the morning and then various other children’s activities in the afternoon and evening. They will have about 20 kids of all ages. These are almost all missionary kids who don’t get the benefit of children’s ministry on a normal basis because few European churches do children’s ministry.
Prayer Needs: For patience, guidance, wisdom, enthusiasm and energy. That the kids will respond to the gospel message and the call to follow beyond relying on the faith of their parents. For opportunities to share ministry with others at the conference.
2. I am part of the leadership team for Transform and my responsibility is organizing the training that happens during the conference. We have about 18 different presenters leading over 20 different workshop/seminars during the week. Organizing, scheduling, facilitating the needs of each presenter as well as the conferees is a large task. Jeana is one of the presenters doing a seminar on children’s ministry.
Prayer Needs: For wisdom, discernment and patience. For each presenter to be able to get their material across, but more importantly to impact the lives of those who have come to the conference. For the conferees to be impacted during the seminars so that they will be more prepared to go on outreach and, more importantly, to go through the rest of their lives. That some would respond to the call to a lifetime of mission activity.
3. Julie and I are leading a team of 8 from the conference in Rome to an outreach in Greece. We will spend just over a week traveling across Greece, walking the steps of Paul, and doing ministry with some of the churches in Greece. Included in our team are three from FBC, Shepherd: Ronnie Seagroves, Lacy Billings and Paige Holden. We also have a young lady (Hailee) from the Atlanta area and two from the Bahamas (Tim and Autumn).
Prayer Needs: For wisdom and safety as we travel through Greece (we’ve seen the turmoil across the country these last few weeks). For God to use us to share the gospel with those we meet whose lives are in constant upheaval. For God to impact the lives of all our team members.
Thank you for praying for us. I believe in prayer and the power of the church calling out to the Creator of the Universe on behalf of fellow believers.
This year’s student camp was an amazing week seeing God work in the lives of students and adults. The numbers tell one story: 160 in attendance, 14 students professed faith in Christ, about 20 others came forward for major decisions. But the real story is told by the students themselves.
On Thursday I just sat down to eat when a 14 year old girl came to my table with a big smile on her face. We visited for a moment and then I asked her how the week had been, what had God done in her life this week. She told me that in the days before camp she was begging her mom not to make her come to camp. She said, “I’ve been to lots of church camps and I figured this one would be boring like all the rest.” But her mom, who had already paid the camp fee, told her she had to go, the money had been paid. So I asked her if this week had been different. She said “it’s been great. God spoke to me and last night I got saved! This is the best week of my life!” Wow, talk about burying the lead 🙂
Then on Thursday I visited for a bit with Christian who agreed to let me record his testimony. Here is his testimony:
Christian said before I started recording that one of the biggest things in his life was how he was accepted by his youth group. He told me that no one had ever welcomed him like that and included him in the group like they did. That’s a powerful reminder to us.
And then there was Bailey. Bailey came to camp having to read lips. Four months ago she lost all of her hearing in one ear and 75% of it in the other. She told me that she couldn’t hear an 18 wheeler drive by her. Then one morning at camp she woke up and could hear her roommate talking. She could hear the air conditioner running. She could hear everything! If you were on campus that day and happened to be within eyesight of Bailey you were going to hear her story. She was smiling, jumping up and down and shouting praises to jesus. She gave Him complete credit for the restoration of her hearing. There was no doubt in her mind what had happened. It reminded me of the man healed by Jesus who was brought to the Pharisees. His testimony was simple and powerful, “One thing I do know: I was blind and now I can see!” (John 9:25) Bailey had the same simple testimony.
The rest of the story of ETC 2015 will be told over the next weeks and months in the lives of the students and adults who were there. We thank God for the faithfulness of our camp leadership like Mike Satterfield, camp pastor, and John Sherrill, camp worship leader. And also for the many volunteers and youth ministers who make a week like this possible. Most of all we thank Him for being faithful to His word, calling us to be consumed by His Son and redeeming all the terrible things in our past by the power of the cross. May He be praised!