October 5, 2019
Special Meetings Youth Activities
Young people from Dallas, Grants Pass, and Medford, Oregon, and Chehalis, Washington, joined our Portland youth group for a day of fun and inspiring activities on Saturday, October 5. About eighty of them met at “The Maize at the Pumpkin Patch” on Sauvie Island for an afternoon of wandering through the maze, eating treats, picking out pumpkins, and generally enjoying a beautiful, sunny fall day on the farm.
This year’s “Maize” had a Big Foot theme—it was designed in such a way that an aerial view shows the legendary creature taking a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. From a ground view, it’s just a series of disorienting twists and turns among cornfield rows. However, with the help of strategically placed clues, most groups were able to complete the maze in only twenty or thirty minutes. Other farm activities included taking a hayride, stocking up on locally grown produce at grocery store, and wandering through the vendors selling fall favorites such as caramel apples, corn on the cob, elephant ears, cider, kettle corn, and more!
At 7:00 in the evening, everyone met back at the Fellowship Lodge for a youth rally. The evening started with a Filipino feast including lumpia, seasoned chicken and pork with rice, and fresh, chopped veggies, followed by delicious cookies for dessert. After eating, the group moved to the general seating area and had a time for singing worship songs, including the Newfoundland favorite, “I Came Here Expecting God to Move,” as well as “This Is the Air I Breathe” and “Glory, Glory, Glory.” After sharing prayer requests, there was a time for testimonies. One young man shared that he’d had trouble staying saved and God showed him that he needed to be sanctified, so after praying and receiving sanctification, he hasn’t had trouble living with victory over sin anymore. Several shared that they were blessed the prior weekend at the special meetings in Sacramento, California. One said he was thankful that his employer has allows him to always have Fridays and Sundays off work so he can go to church, and without even asking, he was also given this weekend and the following weekend off work, which made it possible to be at Portland special meetings and Seattle special meetings. Another young lady thanked God for her three basic Christian experiences, and also that God meets her in a special way whenever she needs something more from Him.
Ryan Erdmann was the speaker for the evening, and the topic was “The Value of Youth to Christ.” He started by reading Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Brother Ryan commented that every stage of life has challenges and opportunities, and some of the positive aspects of being young include better health, higher energy levels, a more adventurous spirit, and optimism about the future. He encouraged the young people to use those attributes for the Lord by participating in church services and church work.
Brother Ryan also spoke about two Bible examples of God using young people: Joseph and Miriam. Joseph was punished for not compromising his integrity with Potiphar’s wife, and later God used him to preserve the Hebrew nation. Maintaining integrity was important then and it still is today. Miriam is thought to have been just twelve when she approached the Egyptian princess about finding a nurse for Moses, and God used her bravery to again preserve the Hebrews. Today, young people still need to show bravery by taking God-given opportunities to say a word for Him.
The session concluded with a confirmation that one is never too young to be used by God, and an encouragement to be an example for others, to testify, to prayerfully keep each other accountable, and to be bold for God. Following the lesson, there was an opportunity to pray.