We had an incredible event this past weekend with the real Soul Surfer, Bethany Hamilton, coming to speak to us at Youth Street Live. On the night over 550 people came to hear Bethany’s testimony (not counting the 50 plus YWAMers). There were people who had travelled from hours away even though we hadn’t really advertised the event. The night was sold out by 6pm. Guests included a lady who had survived a 4metre shark attack at Nelsons Bay last year. A christian friend had brought her along and she was able to meet Bethany before the night started.
The night began with worship from our Youth Street Live crew band and then Bethany was interviewed by several Youth Street crew on stage. There were 350 people in the back part of the warehouse and then over 150 in the ‘overflow’ room where we had a big screen with a live feed in the front of the warehouse. Bethany’s interview was incredible with every question being answered with a strong testimony of Gods goodness, and what it means to follow Jesus. Bethany talked about modesty for girls, self image, enduring the tough times, and renewing your mind through Philippians 4:8. Every answer was an opportunity for the crowd to hear Bethany’s strong testimony of living life full on for Jesus.
The crowd consisted of mostly teens and youth leaders however we saw entire families come to hear the message along with many other teenagers from the Sudanese community. This was a particular highlight of mine.
At the end of the night when Bethany left we had the opportunity to give a response time. We had felt from the Lord that He had a particular message he wanted to communicate on the night in regards to His character. Most of all that Jesus needs to be number one in our lives and that he is trustworthy with that position so we do not need to fear or pull back in difficult times. Likewise if we have been hurt, disappointed, or confused about God through the hard times; He promises in Deuteronomy 31:6 that “HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU”. We can trust God through the hard times because His faithfulness remains the same as in the good times. Don’t give up on God!!!! Have you given him your whole heart?
The room was quiet as people paused to consider what God was doing in their hearts. When we invited people to stand there was over 150 responses! There were also people standing in the overflow room including an entire family who had come to hear Bethany’s testimony! We were then able to follow up with youth leaders and also our YWAM staff made sure every person in the overflow room was accounted for. God was touching hearts and bringing healing, salvation, and a desire for Him! It was the greatest reward after weeks of hard work.