Dear Lord, heavenly Father, how do I put into words the Gospel Light service I just departed from? I am truly humbled in this task; how does one put into words the glorious workings of the Spirit of God, who moved with such power in the hearts of our young people at youth camp and continued His holy work of salvation this evening.
Our service began routinely as our good shepherd, Pastor Vince Giardino, opened with announcements. We were asked to pray for Pearl and to remember to ask how we can be a help in her time of mourning. Pastor asked for prayers for increases in monies, especially in regard to gold and silver collection this coming Sunday. A point man is needed to help organize a “work day” for Monday August 30. Volunteer help is needed also for the Labor Day picnic.
Julia with her violin and Grayson with his banjo played “I’ll Fly Away”, a blessing to us and a delight for the Lord. Our teens, the counselors, and adults who attended Happy Valley Youth Camp this past week stood up together on the bleachers behind the alter and sang with gladdened hearts, “He Paid The Debt”. Pastor then had them sit along the alter steps to individually give their testimonies, which was the main reason for our gathering this evening. As Pastor Giardino would later say, it was obvious that the “Spirit is prompting these kids” to search their hearts and get closer to God.
So many testimonials were given, so much was passionately spoken, and so very many tears were shed. Please forgive your blogger for just listing the names, but my dear readers should fervently seek to listen to the audio when it is posted on our web site. Containing their tears of joy was next to impossible for our teens and adults who experienced the power and love of the Lord through the fellowship and teachings at camp. The testimonials came from:
Ross G. (saved Friday night, Bonnie would later say that he had a whole new countenance), Leticia G., Derek M. (saved Friday night with Grayson’s help), Abigail D. (saved this Sunday morning), Grayson K. (serving as a counselor), Julia G. (who had been lovingly praying for her younger brother’s salvation), Roberto C. (saved at last year’s camp), Madison D., Drew W. (one of our bus drivers), Analyse R. (saved on Wednesday and looking forward to baptism), Luke C. (in his new role as counselor), Madison C., Michael G. (“one thing God showed me was patience”), Leah G., Roxanne W. (our other bus driver, “It was a wonderful blessing to be with these kids”), Jesenia V. (who is praying fervently for her unsaved mother), Raquel C., Bonnie V. (who read the testimonies of Elisabeth C. and Abigail C., talked about the walkie-talkie comedy by Luke and Grayson, and mentioned the touching testimony at camp of Kyle M.), and our own Pastor Giardino (edified by Bro. Wyatt’s “junkyard” sermon).
Emotions were running high and God reigned in our hearts as the teens sang “God is Good” with Michael at the piano. Now was the time for our Pastor to pray, and with our head bowed, he gave the invitation to all to get right with God. As Michael continued on piano and sung, two young men were being led in back with the Word of God and we prayed for there salvation. Before our evening was out three souls were saved, Jim Reese (Mateo’s friend), Ethan Crane, and Lydia Giardino. One more soul recommitted himself to the Lord, Joe McClarrie. God richly blessed all at Gospel Light, demonstrating His love and grace through the hearts and minds of our kids, and cementing lasting bonds within our church family. It was hard to leave the building tonight, but I took solace in knowing that the opportunities to praise God along with my brothers and sisters in Christ will be plentiful. “Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.” 1 Chron 16:10-11