Wednesday, January 08, 2014

God was present, powerful, and life changing...

I recently had the honor of speaking at the Evangelical Free Church of America's Central District Youth Conference in Coralville, IA.
God was present, powerful and life-changing. 

One student wrote me, "Thank you so much for making my first year at Impact a memorable one. Last night I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Your testimony has helped me realize it. Thank you so very much." This student is currently taking the 21 Day Challenge—studying the book of John one chapter a day for 21 days—with other students and youth leaders! We call that "Following Jesus together."
This picture above is from the first night at Impact 2013—600+ high school students and youth leaders fill the auditorium to be led in worship by The Spark.
Lem was a fantastic MC—and whole lot of fun to boot. Emily, my daughter, photo bombed us. More on her later.
Here's picture of a student who trusted Jesus Christ as her Savior at Impact 2013—and her very encouraged youth pastor. Stuff only God can do. Another youth leader wrote me, "I just wanted to send you a thank you for a fantastic weekend at IMPACT. Our students left recharged—as did us leaders. It was also a pleasure to hear your daughter's poetry and work with her during the girls breakout session. Thank you for your humble honesty in your testimony; God truly uses the scares of our past to tell a story of healing to students today. May He continue to bless and multiply your ministry. To God be the glory!" —Andrea Weber
On Saturday AM, I got up at 5 AM and went to find some coffee and to read my Bible. I found these students—who had not gone to bed all night. So we all got coffee together :  ) Never a dull moment in youth ministry.

One student sent me this picture with this statement: "Showed my parents what I learned at Impact 2013." Check out Colossians 3:23. I think she nailed it.
Proof that Jesus Lives: I can hug a Packer fan. He was such a good sport about it too.
One of the reasons this particular conference was near and dear to my heart is because of these guys. Every month, I travel to Des Moines, IA, to be a part of a Disciplemaking Learning Community with these pastors. We pray for each other, encourage each other, and endeavor to live a Jesus-like disciplemaking way of life together. Love partnering with them for the sake of the next generation.
Here's a short (2 minutes and 40 second) recap video of the weekend I hope you'll watch and enjoy and give God the glory! Please breathe a quick, "Thank you, Jesus" right now.

Thank you for stopping by. I deeply appreciate your visit to Cup O' Joe with Bill.

* Update 1/13/14
I just got this note from a youth leader who was at Impact 2013:
"We were so blessed to have you as our speaker for IMPACT. It has been incredible walking through the 21 day challenge with many of our students and we have even had some junior high students join in when we returned. Currently we are putting together a baptism service for some of our students who either made commitments at IMPACT or just now were ready to make that deceleration publicly. Never a dull moment in youth ministry when you serve a God this awesome." 
—Andrea Webber

* Update 1/15/14
"Doing this 21 day challenge has brought me up in my faith way more than I thought it would!"
—Anita



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