What an encouraging week in Ocala! Last time our ministry was here, the Lord taught our team key lessons in prayer and dependence. This year, God did it again!
As we began the week, the Lord burdened my heart to speak in the Wednesday evening service from 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 on God’s Comfort, His divine help in distresses—not the usual evangelistic meeting kickoff message. And yet, I knew it was what I needed to speak on. Little did I know the message was for our team.
Thursday was a hard day in recruiting. Both guys came back very discouraged for various reasons. I challenged them again out of the passage that God was bringing us into the afflictions because he wanted us to get hold of his divine help. We prayed, and God began to shine through in our hearts. As we looked at the next day, I suspected that things were not going to get better—not yet.
Sure enough, on Thursday we had gotten 162 contacts, but on Friday we got 43. I would not call that a breakthrough. And yet, we were not discouraged. God brought us to our knees again and we began to suspect that God was up to something. God encouraged us from the verses in 2 Corinthians 1 that God made things worse “that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God…who delivered us…and doth deliver…[and] will yet deliver” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10).
From a human standpoint, our low numbers was a sign that we were going to have very small crowd. I was nervous, but God came through in an obvious way!
We had a great crowd of teens the first night, a great spirit, and a good number saved! The second night was Mother’s Day, and though our crowd should have taken a big dip, it did not. On the final night, we had our highest night. God was working all over the place!
One young man told me after trusting Christ,
“I know that Jesus died to save me, but I would have never trusted Christ had you all not done this. Thank you.”
One young man was having trouble in the counseling room seeing how salvation could be so simple. The counselor called me in to help him. I brought him to Romans 3 and walked him through verse 20 through 28. When he saw that faith in Christ alone was so clearly taught in the Bible, he bowed his head and trusted Christ to save him!
The sister of the second young man above shared her testimony with me on the final night,
“I never really believed the Bible until I watched [a certain Christian movie]. Since then, I’ve known the Bible was true, but I’ve never seen why I needed to trust Christ. Last night my brother got saved, and this morning as I was walking to school, I asked him what persuaded him. He told me, ‘The Bible.’ I went home and began reading it, and God touched my heart. I was persuaded, too. I came here tonight and knew I needed to be saved, and so I trusted Christ to save me!”
Overall, we had a total of 66 teens attend, with a high night of 52. 18 young people trusted Christ! We are looking forward to coming back next February.