This year, the Conference theme was “Ascend the Hill,” taken from the words in Psalm 24. The Psalm expresses a call to worship, a call to enter into the presence of God, a call to step into the lives we were created for – lives that honour God and love people. I could not be more proud of the way our young people responded to this call.
I am blown away by God’s goodness. I am thankful for the expectations that He met and exceeded. While each individual had a significant and unique God encounter, they also journeyed together as a family. And if you don’t believe it from me, you can hear it from them:
"Youth of the Nation this year was such a significant event for me in my walk with God. He did a lot of talking to me in the few days I was there, really revealing Himself to me. My highlight, however, wasn't the amazing speakers or stunning worship (which it certainly was) but the group of awesome people I was so privileged to get to go along with. It was so important to have people around me that I could trust to talk with and be honest with in the time of so much going on, hearing from God about some very important things and having some emotional moments in the process (as you do). I would not have had the same experience if I hadn't been with them. God knows exactly what I need, even if I don't know that's what I needed in the first place!" - Colleen, 14
"It's hard to narrow it down to one highlight! I have to say sharing the weekend and getting closer to everyone was really awesome. However, having the opportunity to worship Jesus with other youth and to be inspired by the speakers was special, and something I'll always remember and value. ” – Lucy, 17.
“Before going to YOTN I wasn’t in the right head space. I felt lost and broken and I felt like I didn’t have a lot of faith left. I just didn’t think God had a plan for me, but I was wrong. When I got there I didn’t know how amazing it actually would be, it just was so powerful and encouraging, and when we had all the preachers come in God really spoke to me through them. They said things that helped me in so many ways like how to read the bible, how to meditate on the word, and how not to give in to the devil. Then on the last day, in the afternoon, we were just talking as a group. Then someone asked "what’s a testimony" and my youth pastor gave a really good explanation on that. Then I just felt this heavy, weird feeling come over me. He was like, 'Claudie, I want you to share the gospel I want you to share with other people your testimony.' I just kept thinking about this over and over again. I just didn’t know what was happening. It was time to go to the last session of YOTN. I was sad it was coming to an end but I was really praying the last session would be powerful, and it certainly was. One of the preachers came in and started preaching about sharing the gospel and how you can help people surrender their lives to the Lord. I was like, 'Wow, this is what I had experienced earlier that afternoon.' Then this preacher starts preaching about this. WOW - I felt like it was being confirmed.
The preacher was talking about fight the good fight of faith and it was so powerful!
Then he asked us if you want to share the gospel, if you want to fight the good fight, then come to the stage. So I went down to the stage and BOOM - right there it clicked in my heart, God said to me, 'Claudie, I have put you here for a reason and your purpose is to share the gospel. I want you to be the light in someone’s darkness. You have a purpose. You are a daughter of Christ, and I love you.' Thank you God for showing up so powerfully that weekend.” – Claudie, 13.
“My highlight for the conference were the speakers. Specifically Steve Silcock and Brendan Brown because I really liked the way that they delivered their sermons and they were also very good at comparing and giving examples of what they were talking about.” – Caleb, 15.
Thank you so much to everyone who supported us, fed us, and prayed for us!
It was truly a Kingdom investment.
Rose Newton Xxx