On November 19th, 2016, the P.R.E.S.S. movement went to New Beginnings Ministries of Peoria in Peoria, IL to minister to a group of youth about the importance of prayer.

There was a series of two class rotations and five classes divided by age, and I got the opportunity to sit in most of them, to see what they had to say regarding the power of prayer, and why we need it. All the classes were taught by youth 11-24 years old except one adult assistant.

In the first rotation, I sat in the High school Class, taught by Sis. Camille, and Bro. Caleb. Their opening topic was “Introducing Jesus”, coming from John 14:6, which reads “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” They started off by describing what a name is, and how “A name stands out among titles.” They explained how Jesus wants us to know his name, and not just his title. He wants us to get rid of the middle man, and get to know him for ourselves. One quote that stood out to me, spoken by Bro. Caleb, says “There’s no secret to Jesus, you have the invitation, but what are you going to do with it?” and another, spoken by Sis. Camille, “Jesus doesn’t want you to know about him, he wants you to know him.” After giving her testimony, we closed out with a powerful prayer session.

The first Middle school session was just as equally thought-provoking, was taught by Sis. Shateara and Sis. Aysiah. For this class, their theme was “Who God is”. Coming from Psalms 23:1-4, their recurring motif was that God is a shepherd. While sitting in this class, I was reminded that God is a shepherd, not only because he watches over us, but because, like a shepherd, he’ll leave the rest of the sheep, just to find one of them who goes astray.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the pleasure of sitting in on the other three classes during the first rotation, but during the second round, I made sure to get all of them.

I sat in on the High School class again at first, taught by Sis. Brenae, and Sis. Jewel. They used the scripture Acts 17:22-34, and introduced their topic as, “Approaching Jesus.” This class started with a testimony from Sis. Jewel, and all of the things she’s dealt with regarding her experiences with approaching God. They explained how God is not too small for our problems, and that we shouldn’t put God into a hypothetical box. Sis. Brenae mentioned a quote that stuck out to me, saying that, “Everything in his word is tried and true, it’s only a matter of seeking his face.” Ending with a few more testimonies, this class really proved that approaching Jesus is a matter of faith.

In the second session of the Middle School session, taught by Bro. Ethan and Sis. Idalise, they also taught on “Approaching God”, but using different tactics. They used a plethora of scriptures, including Jerimiah 3:3. Daniel 6:22, and 2 Samuel 22:4-7. In the classroom, they set up a semi-complicated obstacle course, to resemble our lives. The main point of having this was, “Making an approach isn’t just walking up to God, it’s making an effort.” Having one of the most interactive classes of the day, this class left me with the phrase, “You don’t get a reward, unless you pass the test.”

Taught by Sis. Jael and Sis. Kayla, the Elementary schoolers were taught heavily through song. Coming from the well-known scripture, Philippians 4:13, they put a spin on it. They sang “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” They were given rewards in the form of candy if they were bold enough to sing it on their own. What a great way to teach a younger class!

In the young adult’s class, it was led by Sis. Chevon. It wasn’t led by teaching, but more by giving her own testimonies. Not to get too in depth, she told about her and her husband’s rocky road to salvation. Ultimately I took away quite a few things from her testimony. She realized once her family chose to be saved, that you cannot be moved unless God says you can be, and it’s never to do detriment to you. No matter what life hits you with, if you trust him, he will be a keeper. You had to be there to really see what God had done in her life!

When the classes were over, we all congregated in the sanctuary for a closing service. There were a dynamic praise dancers that ultimately led to several young people from the P.R.E.S.S. giving testimonies about not only what God had done in their life, but also what God can do for you!

After this, we had an awesome closing service, running longer than we anticipated, but allowing God to move was worth it! Youth literally came to the altar and fell down with tears running down their faces. A spark was set to serve God amongst the young people! This experience was truly life-changing, and we hope to have more like it!

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