This summer, a team of more than 35 people from Southern California Conference (SCC) spent 10 weeks sharing the gospel in our territory. According to Lisa Topete, SCC Literature Ministries assistant coordinator, the program is transformational because “every aspect of the day is geared toward mission—from the time the student wakes up to the time they go to sleep! This naturally leads to young people having a deep love connection with Christ.”
Marco Topete, SCC Literature Ministries coordinator, is passionate about this ministry through personal experience. “I am in the church seven years later due to God using this ministry,” he shared. Many of the students echo his experience, saying that Youth Rush changed their lives. “Youth Rush gave me the training and experience I needed to confidently share God’s love with others,” said Ronn. “Being around other people with such faith encouraged me to grow spiritually in ways that I could not fathom.”
Student literature evangelists often canvass more than just homes; they also canvass businesses in the various cities where they work. A student named Jacob was canvassing in a coffee shop; after being rejected inside, he decided to go outside where customers were sitting. He began to talk with a young woman named Celine who started asking him questions about his faith, such as, “Why do you love God so much?” Jacob responded with, “I love Him so much because of what He has done for me.” After a long conversation, Celine began to cry and said, “I want to get closer to God, but I don’t know how to connect with Him. I just want someone who will mentor me in the Bible.”
As Jacob was leaving, he asked Celine if she would be interested in studying the Bible. She readily agreed. When Celine found out that the students met every day for Bible study, she joined them the very next day and the day after that! From there, she began studying the Bible one-on-one with a young lady from a local church. They started off meeting one time per week, and it has increased to up to three times per week! Praise God for His leading and His using young people to reach others who are seriously seeking Him.
Answered prayers came in many forms this summer: a man was contemplating suicide when he met one of our students; another had spent the last year making copies of our literature to share with family and friends; a woman was comforted by one of our canvassers who showed up exactly one year to the day after her husband passed away; another man, who had just lost everything, had an encounter with one of our students, who shared much-needed comfort and peace with him.
“The number one thing I pray each student receives from this program is learning how real God is in our day and age,” Marco continued. “The God who split the Red Sea in Exodus 14 is the same God we serve today. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the students’ eyes open when they realize, sometimes for the first time in their Christian experience, that God answered their prayer directly.”
“Youth Rush has given me a taste of how powerful one-on-one, door-to-door ministry is,” Gabriella said, “and how God can miraculously work through my life when I surrender— sustaining me through the heat, rejections, and sore feet, to bring me to the door of someone in need.”