This week’s story focuses in on one of the many transformed lives from this past weekend. Ryan, Sunnie, and Julie lead the Black Rock’s Fusion retreat with over 160 students, grades 7th-12th. The team had the opportunity to share vulnerably from their own challenges and pain in high school and proclaim the hope that is found in Jesus. Over the course of the retreat, 18 students boldly and publicly gave their lives to Jesus for the first time. Although there are many stories that could be shared, Matt’s story stuck out because he was the first to celebrate his new life in Jesus.
Matt came into the prayer room because he was struggling with depression and low self-esteem. Sunnie and Julie’s talks had impacted him; he resonated with many of the voices they had struggled with in high school. He didn’t quite measure up to the standards culture and society were putting before him – he wasn’t athletic enough, smart enough, or “good” enough to be worthy of love and acceptance (at least so he thought).
Ryan began to pray for him, and as he sat in the harsh reality of his brokenness, God showed up. In his loneliness and isolation, God broke in and brought life. He began to believe he was seen and loved by God. Then and there he gave his life to the Lord, and through faith he accepted this love to take up residence in his heart. This began a movement.
We opened the third session with telling his story (given his permission) and asked if others wanted to know this love. Matt courageously asked if he could publicly stand to declare his new-found faith. After him, 17 others stood to enter a new relationship with Jesus. When each person stood up, celebration broke out. Each new son and daughter was joyfully received by the Fusion community. What a powerful representation of God’s love! Here is a clip of this time…