One thing we count on at Orlando Children’s Church is that Saturday mornings will be consistently unpredictable. Some weeks stand out more than others – sometimes because of the seeming chaos and challenges which come with working with these amazing kids. But some weeks stand out for what we can only call mighty moments- times when we know the Holy Spirit is showing us the tiniest glimpse of His heavenly power.
Last Saturday was one of those.
For years, 23-year-old Tony had been mentored in prison by one of our OCC regular volunteers. Now, not even 24 hours after being released from the correctional system, he was eager to come and share his testimony with our middle and high schoolers. His heart was full of compassion for our kids who he could see himself in and who he knew were at risk of making the same mistakes he had.
He first shared about how his grandmother loved him and spoke life into him through her relationship with Christ. He spoke of drug addiction and the shame of stealing from that same grandmother, now dying from cancer, money she desperately needed to buy medicine. He told about the gang-life being a lie, promising much but leading to nothing but a dead end. Then He talked about the faithfulness of God and how the prayers of his grandmother were answered during his time in prison. He gave his life to Christ while there and used his five years there to develop a deep relationship with Him.
He urged the students to accept Christ now and to not make the same mistakes he did. In that moment, the room of nearly one hundred spirited OCC middle and high schoolers was silent. They were totally captivated. The presence of the Holy Spirit was tangible.
Nearly two dozen teenagers went forward to accept Christ as their Savior.
Lives were touched in that moment like only God can do. I think everyone in the room was moved as we experienced the Presence of God in a deeply personal way. Seeing the God who created this whole universe interact with our OCC youth, who by the world’s standard have very little significance, was profoundly moving.
Not all Saturdays leave the fingerprints of Christ so noticeably on our souls but mighty moments like these remind us of how a Holy, Just, and Righteous God loves and pursues all of us.
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, the blind will see, and the oppressed will be set free.” -Luke 4:18