Excel 2009 is over. And what an event it was! God moved mightily in SO many hearts – there are no words to describe the feeling of standing in the back of an auditorium and listening to 2,000 teens worship the Lord.
I can honestly say this was the best Excel EVER. Wanna know why? Well, it actually started at Excel 2008. Ebony, one of our teen moms made the decision last year to live for Jesus. To make it work this time. And she’s been doing it… every day!
She got involved in an awesome church and small group Bible study… and then asked to be baptized there. At first, I was annoyed that it was during Excel and we’d have to leave the conference to get her there. Why couldn’t it be any other week? But then, it hit us on the drive from the hotel to church: it all started this same weekend last year. It’s kind of nice that it happened during Excel this year.
Ebony’s story is long and there are many examples of God’s glory from just this past year. But you know one of the most exciting things? Ebony’s response this weekend to people congratulating her and saying they’re proud was, “Don’t congratulate me. God gets all the glory. This wasn’t me, it was Him.”
Join us for a few minutes at her baptism… and praise God for moving so dramatically in her life.
A year ago this weekend is when it all started for the small group we call S.O.S. It stands for “Sharing our Stories” and that just what we do when we meet. We share our own stories and learn about God’s story.
Today is Day I for Excel, a huge student conference YFC holds in Saratoga every January. The group of teen moms we brought last year decided they wanted to keep meeting every week, and S.O.S. was born. I can’t even begin to tell you how much God has moved in their hearts and lives in just one year. These girls are completely different people. The difference is incredible.
So, now we’re back. And they are so giddy. I asked a few of them what was their best memory from last year and you know what they said? It wasn’t what I expected! I expected hearing about the fun games and such… their answers were the worship, the small group discussions and the seminars. I pressed on, challenging them to tell me what they remembered and they gave detailed accounts!
PLEASE PRAY for us this weekend. Pray that God continues to move in their hearts and they continue to fall more and more in love with Him. Pray for the staff – the young mamas are quite energetic and we want to soak up every single opportunity we can with them this weekend!
Thanks for being on our team!
–Rebecca Richmond, Teen Parents Staff
Jae is twenty years old and has three children ages 4, 3, and one month old. At a recent group meeting where we were sharing the Christmas story, she told us that she had never heard the story before and did not know who Mary and Joseph were. What an opportunity God has opened up for us to share the story of God’s love with this young mom. I met with Jae a few days later and gave her a Bible story book that depicted the birth of Jesus. She read it to her boys that very night. She shared her story and told me that her current boyfriend was in jail and would Ray consider visiting him. She also wanted to talk to Ray about baptizing her baby.
A week or so later, Ray and I met with Jae together. We discovered then that although she was interested in talking with us her openness to things of God were not what we had first thought. My initial reaction was to be very discouraged but then realized that this was all part of the process. As we continue to show Jae God’s amazing love we are confident that she will respond in God’s time, not ours.
Thank you for praying and please continue to pray as we continue to share God’s story and intertwine it with her story. Pray that she will soon respond to the gentle tug.