A Lost World
7,000 people packed in for the Kelowna "House Party"
Driving home recently I was startled by something I saw. Flashing on the Amber Alert sign ahead of me were the chilling words: Child Abduction, Gold Lexus Sedan.
It grieved my heart to think of this missing child and the family undoubtedly in a state of panic. Why would someone kidnap a child? What is happening to our society? What is going on in the hearts of men?
God reminded me of Jeremiah 17:9 which says, the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
The Prophet Isaiah
I remember the Old Testament prophet Isaiah pleading with his people, the Israelites. If they would only forsake the sin that was entangling them, they could return to a loving God who would restore them.
Isaiah spoke boldly commanding Israel to seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near, let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7
A Present-Day Prophet
I ached for my own nation to repent and wished there was someone like Isaiah who would be God's advocate. I prayed for someone to once again call people out of sin and into a right relationship with Jesus Christ.
Lucky for Canada, Miles McPherson was obedient to the Lord and claimed the youth of Western Canada for the Lord.
Behind the Scenes
Starfield, Canadian locals, brought Kelowna to their knees
Miles Ahead has been doing youth crusades (evangelism events geared to bring Jesus' love and forgiveness to a dying world) since 1996. Altogether, there have been 18 crusades and over 40 thousand decisions for Christ.
This was the first opportunity for me to be a part of a crusade outside of San Diego, and I was excited to volunteer and witness the changes God made in people's lives.
Miles Ahead only works with a collective effort by strong leaders and faithful volunteers.
The need for diligent workers is great. In fact, it says in Matthew 9:37-38, the harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
Forty-six youth pastors from various churches united in Kelowna to coordinate the outreach. Shoulder to shoulder they worked, each doing his/her part to love and share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
As an answer to prayer, the Lord also provided over 750 volunteers, 50 of them missionaries like myself.
An Interesting Analogy
It was fascinating to us that, while we were in Kelowna, due to bankruptcy, the venue name was changed from Skyreach Place to Prospera Place. The "House Party", the street name for the crusade, was the very first event held at the newly-named Prospera Place.
That is just what God does for us. He takes us from spiritual bankruptcy to spiritual prosperity, from our realization that we need "new ownership" into an ever changing relationship with Him and His son Jesus.
The "House Party" was held Friday night, February 6. It ended up being the largest Christian event in the history of Kelowna. Over 7,000 youth attended, bringing the arena to full capacity, thanks largely to high school principals and teachers (even secular ones) that passed out flyers and put up posters on campus!
For a culture that just recently legalized homosexual marriages, it was amazing to see the way the school leaders promoted and endorsed this Christian event.
Starfield was the first band to perform. Mixed with an alternative/praise and worship style, these Canadian natives gave a loving heartfelt performance. Their reverence of love for God was wholly evident.
Also performing was the rap group 7 Life, spitting rhymes and dropping beats with extreme hip hop style and flavor. The message they were perpetuating was to trust Jesus in all things without wavering. Their look convinced even the adults in attendance that it is possible to have a distinct musical style and self-expression while glorifying God at the same time.
Headlining were the Supertones who unfortunately were missing several band members. Although only two were able to perform, they easily won the crowd over by leading the crowd in the Canadian national anthem. They effectively softened the hearts of the audience to hear the word of God.
Over 1,000 decisions were made to follow Jesus Christ
After Miles' fifteen minute message, over 1,000 teens came forward to make commitments for Christ. Backing these new believers and commitments are many churches and a re-born city prepared to stay united and committed to their spiritual growth.
Serving at the event was an honor and a privilege. We saw the body united and God work in the hands of city leaders, churches, and individuals. We gave witness to the fact that personally and collectively we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 3:20
Miles spoke to the missionary team the eve after the "House Party", saying that God has the same agenda today that He had yesterday. We shouldn't expect less of ourselves tomorrow than we did today.
We can be changed by the renewing Spirit of Christ, and be a light to others every day. We can each be that voice that God uses to reconcile the unsaved to Himself, if only we are willing. And that is what a crusade is all about.