Journey in Oregon
Held on the beautiful Oregon coast, God brought fifteen girls and nineteen guys to attend a Journey to the Heart, August 27-September 4. The majority of the young people came from the northwestern United States. One young lady traveled in from as far away as Spain, and one young man was from the East coast. After hearing about the Journey from a friend, the latter traveled from one coast to the other to attend when he heard there were no more Journeys scheduled for the Northwoods (centrally located) this year. The Young Men’s and Young Ladies’ Journeys in Oregon were held simultaneously yet separately on the same campus.
One participant had read the testimonies on the Journey website and wondered if they were true. Was it really possible to have a personal relationship with God? Can people really experience peace and joy in living for Jesus? She found that the answer is an emphatic “yes!” and now is a daughter of the King of Kings! She shared with her team that this is the first place where she had ever felt people accepted her. Not only did God show her the love of the Body of Christ, but He also opened her eyes to see Who He is to her: a personal God Who loves and cares for her! “Everything He speaks to me is so good,” she shared with her team after spending alone time with Jesus.
Each day grew more special as the young people dug deeper into the Word of God. God began showing several of the guys that this world is a battleground, not a playground. No matter what we do here on earth as Christians, we are in a war that affects eternity and we must learn to fight! For one young man, he was excited when he understood the truth of Galatians 2:20: that he was crucified with Christ. He has begun to grasp that as he “dies” to himself more and more, he will experience the Life of Christ living in him.
One young lady had convinced herself that God didn’t exist. “I enjoyed living for myself because I didn’t have to please anyone but myself. I now see how wrong I was,” she shared in her testimony. God also enabled this girl to seek forgiveness from those she had hurt with her words and actions.
Another was aware of two specific areas in her life that were blocking her relationship with the Lord. She asked God to work in her heart while on the Journey so she would be freed from these two things. “The first few days were good, but nothing earth-shattering was happening. However,” she added, “On Sunday morning God used a session to speak directly to me about both areas in my life! I felt as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders when I chose to believe the truth and forgive.”
Colossians 1:13-14 summarizes what God did in each heart as they sought and heard from Him: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Praise the Lord for His faithfulness in changing hearts, giving new life in Christ, and drawing the attendees with His lovingkindness into a deeper walk with Him.