Often times, when one goes to a Christian conference, they tend to receive from God; something that the Lord has been wanting to give them. And receive we did, but it was a lot more than that for a few of the YOTN (Youth on the Narrow) members that embarked on this life altering trip to Orlando. Already, I see an eyebrow raised and I completely understand. As a matter of fact, I don’t blame you in the slightest. For JESUS 18, was a moment in which our lives were marked and changed forever. Not only did we receive so much from the Lord in the space of one week, but we were also privileged to be emptied of ourselves in order for God to give to others through us.
Essentially, what I am trying to say about JESUS 18 is that there is too much to say. But in this short amount of time we have, I shall attempt to make it brief.
Much was to be expected from our trip to Orlando, but never in the way that we could have imagined. A lot of planning, preparation and thought had gone into the journey. Even on a 9-hour flight to get there, our stomachs clenched in anticipation and excitement for what God was going to do in this well renowned conference that we had heard so much about every year but had never had the opportunity to go. For now, was the time. The moment. That our hearts would be purified, and we would be marked with a true passion to seek the face of the Lord.
The first night of the conference set precedent. It allowed us to understand that this would be an experience like none other. With the presence of God so thick and tangible in the atmosphere, and bodies littering the ground after being slain by the Holy Ghost, we knew that God was coming for us in a new way.
Every night thereafter, got better and better. God began to break down our walls. Each of us encountered God in ways that we would never forget. Each day, we received from God only to pour out into others around us and it was amazing to see God completely “wreck us” (some new terminology we learnt while in the USA) and use us in the way He did. We met amazing people that we will also never forget, friends for life that God brought to us specifically. More than anything, we were baptized in His Holy Fire and with His Spirit. In fact, the most powerful encounters we experienced, were the ones back in the house that we were staying. I believe strongly that God was humbling us, inviting us to remove our eyes from the ‘man’ and fix our gaze on the Son of Man, Jesus Christ.
So much was learnt in Orlando 18, and God’s call upon each individual’s life became clearer. Most interestingly, as we have become accustomed to seeing, is the way God moved in our private lives post-Orlando. When we got back to London, we brought the fire of the Lord with us, and from that moment we understood that God was not done with us yet. Again, He was teaching us that His Presence was not restricted to conferences alone. The fire for God and His love begins in the home, and we learnt this truth very swiftly. We grew an appetite for His Presence and whenever we gathered, it ended in a time of prayer and worship and seeing God’s miraculous hand even in our own homes.
All in all, Jesus 18 changed us forever. From that journey, we cultivated a new ethos. That everything we did, and still do today, must have Jesus at the centre and at the forefront. Jesus must be everything.
Until next time.
God bless xoxoxox