From Adam Shepski, Prayer Coordinator
“You don’t work the Holy Spirit up…He comes down!”
These, were the words of Mike Pilavachi (pastor and leader of Soul Survivor ministries), as he led the Youth for Christ family into a time of prayer. With great passion and authority he challenged attendees that to see fruit in ministry, they must be willing to sew with tears (Psalm 126).
The message was clear: We must first seek to identify with those we are called (sharing in their lives, sorrows and joys). Secondly, we must anguish for them in prayer and in action (like Paul wrote in Romans 9:1-5), and lastly we will have the spiritual authority to deeply share the Gospel of love and power. Ending his time, Mike shared this prayer from his friend brother Andrew, “Father, give us the grace to crawl on hands and knees across a field of glass to reach one sinner who needs to hear the Gospel. Amen.”
Following this deeply moving prayer and message was an invitation to wait upon the Holy Spirit. Mike said “you don’t work the Holy Spirit up…He comes down. So let’s wait on Him now.” As we waited in silence, the Spirit came! Yes! The Spirit of God fell in a FRESH way! YFC staff from across Canada wept, prayed and stood together as a family. Corporately, we as a movement met with God and were refreshed. The same thing happened the next night as well! God moved deeply in us. He stirred us to our foundations as a ministry and again lifted our heads for the sake of His Son who died for every young person in our world.
Following Mike, was the hand crafted and genius teaching of Professor Ross Hastings. Ross reminded us of our need for the Holy Spirit’s power to be displayed in mission, our call to the cultural mandate (to bring shalom to every sphere of human existence), and the invitation to enjoy the creation.
Between the ministry of Ross, Mike, the band and the Greater Vancouver Youth for Christ team, those who attended did not simply encounter God but He intentionally encountered them also.
The theme for the Conference was “Fresh,” which was clearly Spirit led.
Andy Harrington, the Executive Director of Greater Vancouver Youth for Christ said “My dream for the National Ministry Conference this year was to laugh and deeply experience God with good friends!” God, once again, did more than we can ask, think or imagine and answered this dream and prayer.
Many of those who attended can attest to a sense of growing momentum within Youth for Christ’s ministry across Canada – a growing momentum of spiritual hunger, unity, prayer, mission, evangelism and justice.