Finding An Identity in Christ
“In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams.’” (Acts 2:17, NLV). In preparation for the 2016 Winter Youth Retreat we asked ourselves, “What would happen if God poured a new identity, a new purpose, and a new legacy out on the youth of Philadelphia?”
At the retreat, God answered our prayers. Youth were at the altar crying out to God; worshiping God without restraint; and experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit for the first time.
One youth from Faith Assembly of God in the Frankford neighborhood of Philadelphia, Trisha, shared, “I don’t do the things I used to do. I’m changed.” Coming into the experience Trisha said she was going through a lot personally, however, she began to see God working in her as she connected with other young believers. She
was blessed being around other young people who were worshiping and praying in one accord. And now, both her and her best friend have rededicated their lives to God after the retreat.
Another attendee Mai, who’s been a part of Next Generation Ministries for several years now, went into the experience merely expecting to have fun with friends. She spoke of the retreat, “I didn’t expect to understand the testimonies and messages, but I did. [The retreat] brought me closer to God and I felt the Holy Spirit while there.” We’re grateful for the work that God has done and is continuing to do in our youth! Let’s continue to work together to reap the harvest of souls in this city and pray for these emerging leaders.
From Highway Ministries Intern to
Resurrection Life Church Pastor
As many of you know, before there was a Next Generation Ministries, there was Highway Ministries.
Every year through Highway Ministries our U.S. Missionary, Rev. Otto Wegner, would disciple a group of promising young leaders. In 1999, a young seminary student, Finney Kuruvilla, took an interest in this intership after learning more about it online. Kuruvilla said, “I met with Rev. Wegner and I was impressed with his vision for reviving the church.” After a year of training under Rev. Wegner in Philadelphia at Highway Tabernacle, Kuruvilla continued to be involved with the ministry as a volunteer, worship leader, and even a deacon during the renovation of Resurrection Life Church.
Although Kuruvilla already knew for some time that he wanted to do c h u r c h – r e l a t e d work, he did not see what was coming next. Pastor Mark Boucher, the current pastor of Highway Tabernacle, shared with Kuruvilla that there was a need for a pastor for the newly restored Resurrection Life Church. After months of prayer and contemplation with his wife, Elizabeth, Kuruvilla embraced the call once he received confi rmation from God. He is fully committed and loves the people of North Philadelphia.
For Pastor Kuruvilla embracing the call has meant encouraging and preparing others in evangelism and making sure the church and the individuals that make up the church are growing. Now that he’s on the other side of it, Pastor Kuruvilla has remained excited to see young people passionate and committing themselves to God. He strongly believes that the discipleship focus of NGM youth leadership ministries and internship are needed because of the struggle reaching this age in the city. And now his two eldest sons Mark and Andrew carry the torch.
Recap of Chess and Soccer
“Chess is a game of patience and thought,” says Coach Dorsey. “The students learn to think before they move and to look at the entire picture before making a decision.” For two months now our Youth Leadership Center
participants have not only been learning how to play soccer and chess well but also been developing the virtues inherent with mastering each. Coach Vernon Dorsey from the University of Valley Forge has been leading the charge to help our youth build character and social skills. “It is my hope to create a love for the game within them and to guide them in the next steps of their development,” says coach. He says of the group, “Their excitement to learn is exceptional.” However, some participants stood out, including an SGA 5th-grader, Deaquan. “Deaquan is consistent in his attendance, always has a good attitude and is accepting instruction well.” We want to thank you for partnering with us as we build youth.