Indescribable Peace and Joy

March 29, 2016

Four young men and one father gathered at Eagle Springs for a “Journey to the Heart” last week. Good food, great fellowship, and wonderful stories from “Papa Toedt” were a regular part of the week, thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Dale Toedt hosting the “Journey” at the beautiful facility in Northeast Oklahoma!

The participants came from quite different backgrounds, but it was wonderful to see them grow together throughout the week. By the end, they were more than just teammates; they were friends. It was encouraging to see each one recognize truth from the Word of God and the place of that truth in his life. On the final evening each one shared how the week had impacted him. Some of the statements included, “I encountered God personally,” “I realized how the Word of God and prayer are personal to my relationship with God,” and “I now have a fresh start in life.”

Praise God for His work in each of the men’s hearts; pray that each one would continue to grow in his relationship with God after returning home. – Journey Staff

The following is a testimony from one of the young men who attended the “Journey to the Heart” in Eagle Springs; it is used here with permission. May it be a blessing and encouragement to all.

Before I went on the “Journey,” I knew that I was drifting away from God. I was holding back parts of my heart; I was serving myself and trying to further my own desires; I didn’t have my focus on Christ; and I definitely didn’t have an eternal perspective on life. The Lord was working on my heart, though, and about two weeks before the Journey, He began to draw me to Himself. Ahead of me are several important decisions which have dominated my thoughts for some time, and my parents counseled me to go on the Journey to truly seek the Lord regarding these decisions, and I’m so glad I did.

We began the week with extended time in the Word and prayer, and as I progressed through the workbook, God started speaking to me about things that I hadn’t thought about for a long time. I knew that through it all, God was asking me if I was willing to surrender every area of my life to Him, with no strings attached. For years I had been reluctant to do this, but the Lord was giving me the grace to do it. In the middle of the week the Lord showed me, through a film we watched, the impact that we can have on this world if we will just surrender all to Him. The Lord humbled me and brought me to my knees, and I poured my heart out to Him, completely surrendering my life to Him. The peace and joy that I now have is indescribable. I want everything that I am and have to be rooted and built up in Christ. (See Colossians 2:7.) I want to be used of God in a mighty way.

The Word came alive to me, and my prayer life was strengthened. Reading my Bible and praying were no longer chores or obligations, and I began to treasure my time with God. I felt as though I was finally truly getting to know my Creator, and I started realizing the great privilege that I have to get to speak to Him. I felt His love and His grace showered upon my life. God showed me much about Who He is and just how much He loves me. One of the most important things I learned that has continued to impact my life is the fact that God is pursuing a relationship with me.

It was truly an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone who has a hunger to seek after God. God is real and He is waiting at the door of our hearts; we just have to open the door and let Him take control.

The Journey staff were a blessing to me as well. All were real in their walks with God and were very humble. My leader was there each day to guide me and answer my questions. He prayed with me and was a huge encouragement to me to continue in the ways of the Lord. I praise the Lord for this experience and for drawing me to Himself. It was truly one of the best weeks of my life. Praise the Lord!

Looking to Christ,

Dylan – Oklahoma

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith . . .” (Hebrews 12:2).

Photos courtesy of Kevin Boyes and Angelo Oliverio.

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