Its true; its midnight and the students have gone mad! I just checked in on Mandy and my kids before heading down here to the foyer to write this blog post…and on my way down I passed a hotel room with much commotion going on inside. Upon further investigation I discovered that this was an Essex room and that inside was half a dozen guys tying up another guy with duct tape; the word was that they were going to throw him in the shower but I doubt it will escalate that far. I also noticed that once of my leaders seemed to be in on this grand event and so gave a polite wave and chuckle while carrying on the foyer. Harmless fun I hope:)

This evening started out as hectic as the day had been but quickly the mood changed and we ended the night on a real high note. We went to Swiss Chalet for dinner and found out that about every other group was at the restaurant as well. To make a long dinner short (which we were hoping to do) we were late getting to overflow. We arrived just as Rich Wilkerson was taking the stage. His message tonight continued with the non-complicated focus of his previous messages: tonight we talked about the death and resurrection of Christ. When Christ was crucified there were those who stood and mocked him and those who stood and criticized him. Of the mockers was the one who said that if he was truly God he should call angels down to get him off the cross. Rich reminded us that it is a good thing that he is not God because if he were he would have likely come down off the cross at that point to teach the mocker a lesson!

The point of the message was that before Jesus was glorified in the resurrection he endured mocking and criticism, something that many young Christians are fearful of and often cave in at the first sign of. Rich challenged the students to avoid being ‘posers’ of the faith; avoid being those people who just live their life for Christ in front of Christians and then throw in the towel when things get tough. That itself is a form of mocking God. Rich reminded the students that they are not always going to have Overflow, the band, his great preaching, and all of our Christians friends around us; this still does not make our task of living for Christ any less possible.

As the evening drew to a close Pastor Mark Colwell (our district youth director) asked all the students to return to their own groups and to pray with their pastors…this is where things always get fun at youth convention and retreats. We took time to pray individually for each person while we laid hands on them and agreed together in prayer. We prayed for complete healing of DM’s remaining medical issues, we prayed for emotional healing for one young lady from our group, we prayed for calls to ministry and missions, one young lady in our group was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and numerous prayers were offered for clarity, direction, courage and broken families. The Amherstburg church joined us and prayed with us for the final moments once they were finished praying as a group. It was a wonderful time together with many tears shared and much joy present. Like last night discussions of various spiritual matters will continue in the hotel rooms until the wee hours of the morning.

Once we were finished praying we attempted to head back to our hotel however we had lost one student; he joined another church’s ‘body surfing’ efforts while the post-service band performed during an informal after-party. We eventually yanked him out of the crowd and made our regular stop at Tim Horton’s and then returned to the hotel where we are right now.

Those are the evening’s highlights; thanks for your interest in our teenagers and please pray that we have a great night’s sleep, a great final session at Overflow and a safe trip back to Essex tomorrow. We intend to arrive safely at EGCC around 4:30PM.

PN signing off….at 1:09AM