Thursday, September 28, 2023

Youth Hungryfor God’s Presence Nail Cares, Fears to Wooden Cross

By Al Campbell

WHITESBORO – “This was organized, but then the Spirit took over,” said Darionel Serrano, youth mentor.
“This is awesome,” he added.”The Spirit was definitely leading. We had plans, but God had different plans. “He spoke of mostly teens, over 200, at the Heart of Worship Conference at Christ Gospel Church Feb 10-11. It was the first of its kind locally, and was jointly hosted by On Holy Ground Dance Ministries, The Healing Rooms of Cape May County, and Christ Gospel Church.
Around noon on Feb. 11, a long line of those young people formed through the sanctuary.
They patiently awaited their opportunity to nail to a wooden cross small slips of paper, on which they wrote their fears, lusts, jealousies, and broken.
In the balcony, church Pastor Bishop Edgar Robinson watched the spectacle below, visibly pleased.
Many wept as they hammered. Some were supported by peers, who embraced them in that emotionally-charged hour of decision.
Close by to that Christian symbol stood conference organizer Mary Beth Clark.
One by one, many had private moments with Clark. Some whispered as they clutched, and for them, Clark seemed to voice silent prayers.
Still others fell prostrate on the sanctuary steps, as they seemed to offer repentance for past sins. Those persons were joined by conference ministers who prayed with them at that critical moment in their lives.
A program said the event was “the first youth conference inspired truly by the heart of God.”
It began Friday afternoon and continued until about 11 p.m. On Saturday, it opened at 8:30 a.m. and lasted to 11 p.m.
“God wants to reach out and heal them and love them,” said Debbie Otter, founder of the local Healing Rooms, based in Cold Spring.
The group stood ready, she said, with “personal peer ministry” to counsel any teen who was grieved by a variety of problems.
“Many of the kids and young adults were in fact amazingly hungry to see more of God’s presence in their lives, which was one of the major prayer requests the Healing Rooms’ staff received,” Otter added.
“The conference had a major positive impact, and we hope to see more of this type of venue in Cape May County,” Otter said.
“They’re nailing broken spirits and fears, jealousy and lust to the cross. They want them taken away, taken care of. Jesus nails all cares and problems of theirs to the cross,” said Kelly Larkin, of On Holy Ground Dance Ministries as she looked at the line waiting to approach the cross.
Most of the teens were local, said Serrano, who had traveled from East Brunswick, where he is affiliated with Calvary Gospel Church’s youth ministry, Uth3.
“This event is so awesome,” he added, having just prayed, as did Larkin, with a woman at the foot of the altar.
“The youths who are growing up here have a lot of leadership potential. These kids are hungry for the Lord,” he said.  “Something like this makes a big impression.”
He said it was his personal plan to follow up on some of the youth he’d prayed with, to help and offer further prayers with them, if needed or wanted.
The conference included seminars that allowed boys and girls to separately voice concerns to peers about faith, life, school and ongoing problems and concerns.
Workshops were held to give direction. Saturday morning’s featured speaker was Jack Trombetta, retired Lower Township police officer and teacher at Cape Compact High School.
His topic included ways to overcome the lure of the world and its enticing pull.
Clark has taught physical education and health in Middle Township High School for 10 years. In addition, she owns and directs Dance Dynamics in Seaville for eight years.
She also founded On Holy Ground Ministries Outreach Company, which uses dance to allow expression of worship.
She took part in Christian Youth Event Closer Walk, hosted by the Morey Organization, Wildwood, and International Healing Room Conference, held last fall at Christ Gospel Church, which promoted physical and spiritual healing, and was attended by several hundred.
Event committee included Clark, coordinator, Kristen Hiferty, Darcy Hargest, Amy Reef, and Barbara Jean Warner, co-coordinators.
Contact Campbell at (609) 886-8600 Ext 28 or:

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