In September of 2011, my wife and I traveled to Sun Prairie, WI to present our youth evangelistic ministry to Calvary Baptist Church, pastored by Rick Bloom. Last December, their new youth directors, Dan and Karen Kahlhamer, contact me about bringing the Cola Clash to Sun Prairie. They had attended one of our rallies elsewhere in 2014 and wanted their church to experience it, too.
As we prepared for the week of ministry, our team was out inviting in the community. One of our team members, Joseph, was discouraged about several not-so-successful recruiting opportunities in a row. He saw a young person on a skateboard and ran a quarter of a mile to recruit him. Out of breath, he told him about the Cola Clash and Logan signed up and agreed to come. He came out the first night, responded in the invitation, and trusted Christ. He told me afterwards that he hadn’t heard much about Jesus until tonight, but that he was so glad that he was saved!
Another one of our team members, Brendan, had recruited a young man named Max. However, when he contacted him on Monday, he said that he couldn’t come because he was a Roman Catholic. Brendan told him, “Well, we are just preaching the Bible. You all believe that too, right?” He replied, “Yeah we do.” Max came on the first night of the Cola Clash and shot up during the invitation. I remember talking to him. He was visibly excited about what Jesus had done for him and that he could be saved. He was also excited about telling others about his newfound faith in Christ!
On the final night, the Lord burdened one of our young ladies, Stephanie, to encourage a girl to come back during the invitation. She didn’t want to come, but she plead with her. Stephanie went to the back heartbroken and cried out to God to bring her back. Seconds after her prayer, the girl shot to her feet, turned around, and came back with great urgency. She came straight to Stephanie and told her that she wanted to get saved! She had the joy of leading her to Christ!
One of the exciting things about the week was that God used many of the teens to bring out their friends. In fact, a large percentage of those who attended the Cola Clash came because of their friends. One of the teens, Nathan, brought several friends throughout the week. On the final night, several of them responded in the invitation and trusted Christ. He was visibly moved as he saw God working in the hearts of his friends! Another young lady walked up to one of her friends and asked her if God was working in her heart. After affirming that he was, she led her down to the counseling room, where her friend trusted Christ!
Another exciting thing was the burden and preparedness of the church people to follow up with the teens in discipleship. Many of the adults set up discipleship Bible studies with the young people. There are several who are organizing the follow up endeavor to make sure that no one slips through the cracks. God will bless this kind of a heart!
Overall, we had 109 teens attend, a high night of 77, and 29 trusted Christ! Pray for this church as they reach back out to disciple these new believers!