The Rise Retreat had approximately 150 students and 25 volunteers. Two youth groups, 180 and KG (Knowing God), gathered from March 21-23 at Silver Pearl outside of Shanghai. It was a powerful time of worship, seeking God and seeing lives transformed by God’s presence and love. Many of the youth have a continued excitement and passion for God, which has been seen through Shift and Waypoints. Through this time, four youth committed to be baptized out of their devotion to Christ!
Let’s continue to pray and encourage this next generation to love, follow and serve Jesus for the rest of their lives!
Here are some testimonies from the retreat:
“The Rise Retreat was a place where our youth and volunteers powerfully encountered Christ! Pastor Erin Lee and her husband Pastor Christian Lee were Spirit-filled. God led them to address deep issues of inner healing for all of us. Many testified that they felt freed from sins and past hurts that they struggled with. Most importantly, the youth grew in their love for God and His presence in their lives. We saw families getting healed, youth making radical commitments to be baptized and God solidifying His work within many of His children. Praise God for the Rise Retreat!”—Jessica Makona, Youth Leader
“Inspired by one of Pastor Erin’s talks, many of our kids have started their own weekly accountability groups via skype. It’s amazing to see these kids really taking control of their faith, and building bonds within their small-groups that will help them to stay strong in their walks. Each week we continue to hear testimonies of how lives were changed—kids confessing areas of their lives, which they used to keep hidden, but which they now want to be victorious in and are asking their peers’ help with.” —Janai Wallace, Youth Leader
“I struggled with pride before retreat. Only I didn’t know it was pride. I’m a fighter and I love to do things on my strength. I hate asking for help as it makes me feel week. I idolized winning and defined myself by my “hard-work” in certain areas of my life. So it was extremely difficult to ask God for help in my life. At this retreat, it was really laid on my heart when pastor Erin said that if we focused on our love for God, His joy would naturally flow through us. I’ve always left retreats thinking about which parts of my life I would fix—never thinking just about where my love of God would take me. I was tired of trying so hard on my own. In session 3 I tried to be strong and pray for others and ignore the fact that I wanted to breakdown. “That’s not me, be strong for them” I said. Then out of the blue a friend came up and said “you need healing…don’t pretend you don’t” and she prayed for me and I broke down in tears. I’ve never felt that weak before, or so full of love for God. “I will call upon Your name and keep my eyes above the waves” calling upon His name is to thirst for His presence and going on our own we will drown, our eyes wont stay above the waves.”—Youth attendee
“GOD IS SO AWESOME! This is how I feel after the Rise retreat: Psalm 40 ‘I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth (a new song!!!), a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear (please, God…let that be…) and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.’ Such a beautiful prayer. He has given me a firm place to stand, he has lifted me up like a child and set me on rock. OH FATHER, keep your bride rooted in your love, established in the faith, and unmoved from the hope held out in the gospel. Thank you for the hope we can have in you!! It’s ALL ABOUT YOU!! Keep our eyes fixed on you!”—Youth attendee