“Have you been exposed to Jesus?” You could hear a pin drop on the carpet as there was a pause in the preaching. The evening had started with Anna Romuald, Assistant Pastor of Southview Church, engaging youth in grades 7 through 12 that had come to Maplewood Academy for the Youth Rally “Exposed”. After multiple opportunities to connect with others who were there from around the conference, a video was played that talked about prayer. Worship began with music and then Willy Ramos spoke. Friday night, our first gathering, Willy asked all who wanted to live a life exposed in Jesus Christ to come forward. Many young people dedicated their hearts to Jesus that evening.
Sabbath was filled with opportunities to make new friends and connect with long time friends. It was also a time to laugh, sing, discuss relevant topics relating to our Christian walk, and worship together. Vanessa Pujic, Youth Pastor at Minnetonka, coordinated ten different Sabbath School choices (thank you volunteers who led out in Sabbath School). Following Sabbath School, we again came together to worship God through music, prayer, discussing His Word, and the preaching of His word. As Willy spoke, he made us laugh and think seriously about our relationship with Christ. By the time church was ending, Willy had asked for those who wanted to be baptized to make a stand for Jesus. As the Spirit moved, one young person after another came forward until 13 young people had decided to follow Jesus in baptism. Praise God!
The afternoon brought more time for connecting through some interactive games lead by Russel Wilson (Youth Leader at Minneapolis First SDA Church) and discussion groups lead by Brendon Prutzman (Youth Volunteer). Those who helped at this youth rally were many; from musicians to Academy faculty. Thank you for being a part of this youth event and helping to make it happen.
As the sun was beginning to set, we came together one last time to worship our Creator. We worshiped through music, prayer and the Word; we could feel the Spirits presence. As Willy closed out our worship time he asked for those who wanted to commit their lives to Jesus to come forward. A cross was set up on the stage with many cards that had a nail tied to the card. The card said “Exposed in Christ” and had red paint symbolizing Jesus death on the cross for us. Willy asked all who wanted to be committed to Jesus, to take one of the cards with the nail on it to remember what Jesus has done for them. He then asked all of us, symbolically, to kneel before the cross as we prayed to our Savior and Lord. Saturday evening ended with the Maplewood Academy Flyers performing a gymnastics show. As the youth rally came to a close we felt we had been lifted up – that we had truly been “Exposed” to Jesus Christ.
Youth and Communications Director
Images by Brad Leavelle
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