Our last Saturday in Rapid City, we were blessed to set-up CCCC’s parking lot with games, snow cones, and a BBQ grill as we engaged the community to take part in the festivities. It was a nice day here in Rapid City and we were blessed to see many from Laundry World and other interactions from the street visit the BBQ.
Later in the evening, a small team of us put on a Youth Night for the church. The mission was to create a fun and honest atmosphere among Christian youth. The rest of the group participated in a Christian Single’s Panel put together by Saturday Night Live, a Single’s Christian group based in Rapid City. The event aimed to answer the gray areas of being a Christian Single, or at least touch the surface of it. However, the group also clearly enjoyed the fellowship with one another as we enjoyed great snacks, ping pong, and other such games to end the night.
Here are some testimonies from yesterday…
“I met a man named Michael today at the BBQ and asked him if he went to church and was a Christian. He said yes. He goes to church every Sunday, however, and recommits his life to Christ. I asked him if he realized that he didn’t have to do that, and he answered in the negative. I shared with him a track on the steps to peace with God. I went pretty fast because I thought that he already understood and I was nervous.
In the midst of that, Amy walked up and helped me ask him questions to see if he understood. We went over the steps again and he said that he believed. We made sure that he knew he had a relationship with Jesus that was always there and didn’t go away because he sinned. He could pray anytime he struggled.
I went through 1 John 1:9 with him: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. We told him that he could confess his sin to God anytime and God would forgive him and he could be assured of his salvation. All he has to do is come to God, because He alone forgives sin. In the midst of struggles, we assured him that God will bring him through it.” -Kristen
It started as a casual evening just enjoying pizza and root beer floats. Jayson opened up in prayer that led into worship. Jayson, Shannon, and Ezekiel gave their testimonies about their experiences and how they came to HSE. Jonathan shared the word and taught on always striving for more in their Christian walk and not being content in an inferior version of what God has for them. After the teaching Shannon encouraged the group to open up their hearts in prayer and share anything they felt stirring in their souls. They were very receptive and shared their burden with the HSE leaders. Some of what they shared was heart breaking but it was encouraging for the HSE students to see their resilience despite the enemy’s attacks and distractions.
“I think it was really good for them to understand things about their Christian identity. We could tell just being there and listening to them meant so much to them. Something to ignite them and start a fire in their hearts, not going to church is what defines a person it’s who you are outside of church that defines you. It was really cool just bonding with worshiping with them. Gods starting to reveal to me that I need to broaden the age group I minister and get out of my comfort zone of only reaching out to younger children.” -Jayson
UPDATE: One of the youth members actually gave me a letter responding to the youth service we led:
Thank you for sharing worship with us last night. Also thank you for sharing about your current struggles and prayer needs. Through out the years I have had a lot of doubts about God and the church. But after hanging out with HSE I know what the church is supposed to be. Every time I hang out with you guys I feel safe and last night each one of you hit on something I was going through. I thank you for caring and letting me open up. I hope to stay in contact with you. I will also be praying for you and the HSE students.”
“Last time we were at the Art Alley, a guy named Willie came out from a building in the Alley while we were painting and singing worship songs. I made conversation and asked him if he worked in one of the buildings. He said yeah, he owned a boxing gym and asked if a group of us wanted to go check it out. He took us down some stairs into this basement- it was as if it was out of Rocky. Willie went on to say that he owned the gym and was an instructor. He had been the former Junior Olympic gold metal champion. I invited him to the BBQ to come hang out and chill the following Saturday. Not only did he come to the BBQ today but he also brought one of the kids that he instructs. They were taking a break from working out and decided to stop by.
While we were talking he explained how he had been going to school to play football but then got injured and couldn’t continue. I got to encourage him and told him that God has a plan for his life and He wants to work what happened out for good. Willie has been put in a place where he has the opportunity to positively impact a lot of people, especially kids. I then invited him to the single’s ministry event that would be happening in the evening, and he came to that as well! Philippe and I got to sit down with him and talk for a while. As he was leaving he said that he will come to church tomorrow morning. We are praying that he comes and that he grows closer to God.” -Alan