By YS on December 03 2008 | 8 CommentsI received this message via our Myspace from a Nashville NYWC attendee. This is another example of the impact our convention attendees make in the host cities:
I had one of the saddest experiences of my life last night. In brief, Michael and I were headed from our hotel to the arena where the General Sessions are held. We were approached by a lady who was obviously both pregnant and homeless. She told us asked if we would buy her a sandwich or something, as the local eateries would call the cops on her if she went to any of them. She also told of how she'd been unable to stay at one of the homeless missions in town, as it is a men-only operation. She said she could get a free bus ride to the Salvation Army because she was pregnant, but that staying there cost eight dollars, which was a lot of money to her. I could almost hear God saying "You wanna be a red-letter Christian, big boy? Well, pony up." I offered to take her into Panera Bread (where I am right now) and demand that she be allowed inside as my guest, but she was terrified of the prospect of being arrested. Instead, she stayed outside on the sidewalk with Michael while I went inside. She just wanted a sandwich and a soda. Didn't care what kind of sandwich, but she did want a lot of mayonnaise. A sandwich and a drink. So I went inside. Having been here once before, I was immediately recognized and hailed by several members of the staff. Those who did not know me yet soon did, and there was much smiling and joking. All the while the lady was outside with Michael... hungry, cold, scared and lonely. I wondered how different the atmosphere inside would have been had she come inside with me as I'd wanted. The thought angered me, to tell you the truth. I got her two sandwiches. A hot one for immediate consumption, and a cold one for later. I also got her two bags of chips and a large Pepsi. I gave them to her, and I swear to you that I have never in my life seen any human being more grateful for anything than she was for that bag of food. She thanked us both, then apologized as she opened the bag. "I'm sorry, I'm just so hungry..." ... Having done all that we could (I suspect, based on the bits I overheard, that Michael gave her the money for the Salvation Army), we prepared to head on our way. But before we could do the last thing I wanted to do before leaving, she beat me to it. "Will y'all pray for me before you go?" I told her that we surely would, and, hungry as she was, she put her bag down and lowered her head. Michael and I placed our hands on her shoulders, and I asked her, "What is your name?" "Heather. My name's Heather." So we prayed for Heather's provision, safety and health, and for that of her unborn child. We prayed for her to find people here in Nashville who weren't bound to leave soon, people who were willing to help her and her child. As we finished, she thanked us and told us that she'd never met anyone like Michael and I before, that no one had ever treated her like we had. What do you say to something like that? Before we left, I said, "Now, can I ask something in return?" She looked up at me and nodded, seeming unsure of what I might ask. I merely held my arms out and said gently, "Get up here." She had told Michael and I of how people treated her because her hands were dirty, and because of how her clothes looked since she had to sleep in them, and because of how she smelled. I wanted to show her that not everyone gave a crap about those things, and I could think of no better way to show her than a bear hug. Her face flushed a deep red, her eyes welled up with tears, and she stood up and timidly opened her arms. Drawing her to me, I hugged her long and warmly, and she quickly responded and hugged me tighter. She began to cry quietly as we hugged one another. After the embrace was broken, she turned to Michael, who opened his arms to her as well. She thanked us again. I told her that she was welcome, and that it was a pleasure to have met her. Writing this, I want to wonder why it saddened me. It saddened me because now not only is it cold in Nashville, but it's raining too, and has been since sometime late last night. And I wonder if Heather was/is out in it. I can't fix the whole world. I don't think I can fix even parts of the world. But with God's help, I can make it just a little less cold. That, more than anything else, is what I'm taking home from this year's YS Convention. -Big Country/Travis Kilgore
By YS on December 03 2008 | 8 Comments
By YS on December 01 2008 | 6 CommentsAdam Walker Cleaveland, a youth worker from Livermore, California was recently working on his personal statement of faith for his ordination and had a crazy idea. Why not ask Twitter members to tweet their statement of faith? Is it possible to condense what you believe into 140 characters or less? Here's his description:
While fitting everything you believe is hard enough to do on one page, what if you only had 140 characters to do so? So, if you’re on Twitter (if you want to know why you should try Twitter, read this), please participate in this. This was the initial challenge:Here are a few results of this interesting and beautiful social experiment:Twitter of Faith: What do you believe? You have 140 characters - give us your statement of faith in 140 characters. #TOFIn order for us to be able to keep track of them, please add the hash tag #TOF to it, and then you can keep up with the results here. If you want to track both the hash tag #TOF and the phrase “Twitter of Faith” - this is a great way to view the results.
By YS on December 01 2008 | 6 Comments
By YS on November 29 2008 | 7 CommentsFrancis Chan Mercy Me Andrew Marin People hanging out near registration Marko describing Instituto Especialidades Juveniles Shane & Shane The Disco Ball Johnny Parks Band Fred Lynch Living Illusions Jacks Bar-b-que Shane Claiborne The Skit Guys Mark Yaconelli and his disco party Tony Compolo Francis Collins Danielle Strickland Starfield Mike Pilavachi Kendall Payne Taylor Mason David Crowder Band The Bible Across America Lincoln Brewster
By YS on November 29 2008 | 7 Comments
By YS on November 24 2008 | 9 CommentsWe received this email this morning from a convention attendee, amazing stuff.
Yesterday, just after the 3rd general session, my wife and I were walking around the exhibit hall checking out some of the vendors tables. After sometime we decided to head back up to the room and hang out for a bit before we went out for the afternoon. As we were walking out of the exhibit hall there was a man with a case on his back and no shoes on his feet! I had remembered seeing him on the street the day before... I'm pretty sure he was homeless! As I walked by him I noticed that he was trying to get into the food area that is just outside the exhibit hall... the thought had crossed my mind to offer to buy him a meal, but I chickened out! Actually, I felt pretty much like a "coward"! As he walked into the food area a security guard stopped him and started to escort him out, even before he could even get close enough to look at the food! My heart began to ache for this man! Tears started to swell up in my eyes... not sure if that was because I felt bad for him or because I have become extremely convicted this weekend to have a passion and a burden for the lost! Nevertheless, I still did not muster up the courage to offer this man ANYTHING! I intentionally slowed down so as to let the man and the security guard walk by me, just so I could see what happened! I'm glad I did, because I saw something that convicted yet blessed me all together! As they got to the stairs a young man, probably in his early 20's, came RUNNING by me and stopped the man! The security guard was obviously annoyed... I'm not sure what he said to the man, but after about 30 seconds he took off his shoes and laid them at this mans feet!! remember... this man was barefoot! After he took off his shoes and gave them to this man he simply walked away! The homeless man just stood there, with the security guard poking him and telling him to move on, and slowly put this young mans shoes on his feet and then left. I want this young man to know how much he ministered to me and that I saw Jesus in him!! What he did for that man and for the Kingdom of Christ was SERIOUS RIDICULOUS!
By YS on November 24 2008 | 9 Comments
By YS on November 20 2008 | 2 CommentsSomething new for 2008 to NYWC has been live blogging. In both Sacramento and Pittsburgh a team of youth ministry bloggers documented everything in real time. It was a fresh perspective and a lot of fun! Starting at 1:00 PM CST on Friday, you can follow the Nashville live blog. We'll be focusing most of our attention on capturing notes and media from the general sessions, but make sure to check-in periodically for other notes from seminars as well. If you are on site in Nashville, the live blog is iPhone and Blackberry friendly. NYWC.com/live
By YS on November 20 2008 | 2 Comments
By YS on November 19 2008 | 13 CommentsNYWC Nashville Live Blogger, Andy Thompson shares these insights on our host town.
By YS on November 19 2008 | 13 Comments
By YS on November 18 2008 | 2 CommentsGo ahead, grab a cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa and enjoy these five blog posts.
By YS on November 18 2008 | 2 Comments