15 December, 7pm: The film, Pilgrim’s Progress, was shown. (This was officially the last service but services continued on Saturday and Sunday for those waiting for transport.)
15 December, 3pm: Umphakathi young people shared and there was discussion and questions with the audience.
14 December, 10am: Rev Erlo Stegen spoke from Zech 3: 1 – 4. Filthy garments can be cleansed by our Lord Jesus. If you come to Him, confessing your sins, He will forgive. “Now is the day of salvation”, not the day you choose. Illustrations included the testimony of Samuel Morris. Alexander the Great had the habit of burning a torch outside the gates of cities he laid siege to. He offered mercy to all who surrendered to him before the flame went out. But when the flame went out mercy ended and all who had not used the opportunity were slaughtered. You don’t know how long you have got. Come to Jesus while His flame of forgiveness still burns.
13 December, 7pm: The sermon was given by Ntokozo Nhlabathi who read from John 5: 1 to 7.
13 December all day till supper: A beautiful sunny day is dedicated to sports. Children make up teams from their different areas. Soccer, netball and volley-ball were the 3 sports. There were so many soccer teams (31 in all) that it was played as a knock-out competition. Winners received their prizes, sponsored by aQuelle, on the field. (see photos of sports here)
12 December, 7pm: After 3 choirs had sung (choirs usually sing before every service) Mr Michael Ngubane introduced The Passion film.
12 December, 3pm: Mr Danie Bosman gave a 20 minute introduction of CFT. After that, Dr van Eeden brought a message from the Bible.
12 December, 10am: Rev Erlo Stegen spoke from the theme verses in Mk 10: 46-52. He emphasized that for blind Bartimaeus it was a “passing opportunity” never to be had again because Jesus was passing through Jerico on the way to Jerusalem where He was to die on the Cross. He used his passing moment of grace. The story is told of the eagle that was eating fish on an ice-flow headed for the Niagara falls. Tourists observed how the eagle tried to let go of its prey but its talons were held fast by the ice as it tumbled over the falls. You may be in bondage to sin and you are incapable of freeing yourself. Your talons are frozen into the ice. Call upon the One who Bartimaeus called upon for He is able to set you free completely.
(At the end of the service Rev Stegen held up a beautiful specimen of a pineapple from Maqhogo and said that “whosover will” can can fetch a pineapple from a lorry outside the old shop where there was more than enough for everyone who came. He also stressed that “whosoever will” can come to the Lord Jesus for salvation and freedom from sin.)
11 December, 7pm: A film, “Most” was shown which illustrates how God gave the Son He loved for our sakes. Marius Pretorius spoke from John 3:16.
11 December, 3pm: This service was dedicated to different age and gender groups to address practical issues relating to them. (see pictures of boys in different groups)
11 December, 10am: Rev Erlo Stegen took the morning service and he spoke from the theme verses in Mk 10: 46 – 52. Blind Bartimaeus seized his opportunity to call upon the Lord. He refused to submit to the “peer pressure” of the crowds who rebuked him and tried to silence him. His whole life changed when Jesus opened his eyes. He could see the roses (for Jerico was known for beautiful rose bushes). More importantly, for he saw Jesus and followed Him and could witness the Lamb of God dying for his sins. Come to Christ like Bartimaeus and He will make you completely new. You will see things you have never seen before. “He who is in Christ is a new Creature for old things have passed away”, will become true for you.
At the end of the service Pastor Stegen gave an opportunity to those who have never experienced their spiritual eyes being opened to come to the Lord. Counsellors were available for the many who remained behind.
10 December, 7pm: FH Stegen preached from the same story of Asa as found in 2Chron 15 and went further to look at what happened to King Asa after the victories we read of. Though the Lord had given his own victory of Libya and Ethiopia we read in chapter 16 that Asa sought worldly help from Syria instead of seeking the Lord. He gave the gold and silver from the temple as a reward to the Syrian king. In return, all he was left with was the rubble of stone and timber. Hold on to what is precious from God. He owns the silver and gold. Don’t end up like King Asa. (The service was broadcast live over Radio Khwezi which has a listenership of almost 300,000.) About 4000 young people are now in attendance at the Youth Conference.
10 December, 3pm: This session is an opportunity for testimonies of what the Lord has done for those who were here at the previous Youth Conference in June.
10 December, 10am: A. Mdlalose preached from Matt 8: 2-4: “And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, `I will; be clean.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
Being at the Youth Conference is an ideal opportunity to ask Christ for healing. Your most desperate need for healing is not just your body but your soul. Many are bound by addictions, immorality, thieving and other sins. Just as the leper, who was an outcast of society, pleaded with Jesus so too everyone who senses their need can call upon Him today. Jesus is willing to heal you, to release you from your sins and make you completely whole. Call on the Lord with the urgency of blind Bartimaeus of Mk 10: 46 – 52.
9 December, 7pm: Rev Joe Newlands preached from 2 Chron 10:1- 5 and vs 10. The children of Israel had been living without God. Just as they came to the Lord for salvation so too we can go straight to Him. We need not waste thousands of Rands on witch-doctors.
Many children have arrived and it is expected that many hundreds will be arriving through the night. By tomorrow evening everyone should be here. (The weather is misty and we pray for safe travelling for all the buses and vehicles on the road.)
Please remember this very important time in the lives of thousands of young people. The theme is taken from Mark 10:51. “What can I do for you?”, our loving Saviour asks blind Bartemaeus. It was not that Jesus couldn’t see the obvious but He wanted Bartemaeus to state His need with his own mouth. The thousands of children, teens and young adults who come to the Youth Conferences have enormous needs. We encourage them to come to Jesus and state their needs. The Bible also promises that they can go back rejoiciing. “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”