“Kingdom Come” was the theme of the 2019 North American Youth Congress, held last week in St. Louis – the conference our kids attended with some 37,000 other young people. The theme is of course taken from the Lord’s prayer;
“thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”
Timo created today’s feature pic. Let me tell you about it.
His Kingdom Come in: France
There was a well developed social media campaign around this event, and organizers provided a square, fill-in-the-blank, template that could be personalized and shared on Instagram.
That’s where I saw it, customized for France, as a temporary story on Timo’s Instagram feed. That impressed me for a couple of reasons.
(a) Timo’s our youngest – *never underestimate the young ones*
(b) For a long time, it was he who most talked about returning to Canada
(c) He’d expressed some momentary regret about returning to France after such a good visit home.
Yet God was working on his heart and when he could’ve put any geographic location in that blank… he chose France: expressing his desire that God’s Kingdom be established here.
MK (Missionary Kids) House Party
If the kids were able to attend NAYC, it’s because they’re missionary kids (MKs) and our organization covers their airfare as a way to acknowledge the sacrifices that they’ve had to make by being on a foreign field and, in many cases, outside of a normal church youth group structure.
After having attended two other events as MKs (NAYC 2017 & MK Retreat 2018), they’ve become well acquainted with this group who all share a common experience: leaving the familiar to be part of God’s work abroad – not so much a decision of their own choosing, but because of their parents’ call (our kids have embraced that with much grace).
What’s cool though is that in many ways this MK family has become their youth group… though they’re separated by oceans and continents.
Healing… by God’s Touch
We met up with the kids in Toronto. They flew in from St. Louis and we from Moncton. They’d had little sleep but their spirits were high.
At one point, when I came back from fetching us some Starbucks, Timo was telling Liz about his time at NAYC and I could tell he was emotional. Liz signaled to me that all was well and not to press the issue for the moment. She would fill in some snippets later, but it would be on Wednesday night, during our family Bible Study, that we would get the full story.
Rev. Jack Cunningham spoke on Thursday night, his sermon title:
Generation Z: Apostolic to the Core
He affirmed all 37,000 young people, saying that if the Bible was true, then they would likely see greater things than previous generations had seen and done (John 14.12). He urged them that such a blessing would require greater personal consecration and faith and testified about ways in which God had used him when he was just a teenager and then a young man.
He reminded them that, as believers, “they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” (Mark 16.17-18)
I don’t know who it was that laid hands on Timo, or maybe he just prayed himself. Either way… God touched him.
Timo had had recurring pain in one knee for roughly two years, likely related to when he severely sprained his ankle and landed on his knee at the ice rink. It had been particularly bothering him that week because they’d been doing a lot of walking.
God touched him in that service and the pain was immediately gone.
That’s what made him emotional in the airport and he got just as emotional again on Wednesday night, telling the rest of us. He’d had a first-hand, personal experience with God.
That’s the God we serve and that’s the God we want to share with folks in France. We praise him and give him thanks!
… for stopping by this week.
Let what you read inform your prayers for us and for France.
Let his kingdom come!