"Outreach has changed our opinion on the way we live, and shown us to be grateful for what we have." So says 16 year old Patrick from California. Patrick is one of the students of this summer's 24 Seven program, and has just returned from an outreach to California's capital, Sacramento.
While there, the teens ministered in various ways. Patrick says that what was most impacting to him was bringing food to the homeless near the American River. They made sack lunches with sandwiches, fruit and snacks, and gave them away to anyone there who was hungry. The teens sat with these people and heard their stories. Their eyes were opened to the need in the world around them.
There were other opportunities for evangelism as well. While on a treasure hunt (where students pray for treasures, or specifics about a person they are to find and speak to) Kris, 15, from Oregon and his group prayed for a guy at the mall who was surrounded by friends who wanted nothing to do with them. Though at first they were discouraged, and thought they should leave, the guy they were focusing on showed interest. After they prayed for him, he was near tears, and the teens realized how much he needed that prayer, and realization that God cared for him, even in the midst of friends who were against it.
Faith, 17, from Washington. has a new way to reach people's hearts. "I have received prophetic words [from others] before, but I never thought I was even capable of giving a prophetic word." During a team fun time, Faith and other students were challenged to prophesy to each other. "I was stepping out in obedience to God's voice, and being willing to hear from him, letting him use me to encourage others." She was able to use this new skill to minister to people in Sacramento.
The team also did a service project, painting a building which will be used as a pastors' co-op, for those who do not have their own office space.
This past week was a week of reaching people's hearts with the gospel, while also realizing what it means to reach out in our everyday lives. YWAM staff member Brittaney says, "Ministry time isn't just during ministry time. It's a lifestyle." All photos credit: Jeremy Schuff, YWAM Sacramento