On Martin Luther King weekend, the Miami Vineyard Red Youth along with St. Pete Vineyard and Doral Vineyard youth went hungry and homeless for two days to raise awareness about the world hunger crisis and raise funds for starving children throughout the planet. Over 150 youth sacrificed their long weekend and put aside their video games and other distractions and decided to serve the Kingdom of God in a very useful way. They fasted for 30 hours, slept on boxes on a very untypical cold night in South Florida, prayed and worshipped for hours, and woke up to hit the streets the next day and raise awareness about world hunger. The results had the signature of the Divine.
For four weeks before the event, we were teaching a series on serving. As we heard these messages, we decided it would be good to pattern ourselves lives after Jesus. (Generally a good thing, right?) We decided to become doers of the Word instead of passive listeners: “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Not knowing just how powerfully God would put his hand on this endeavor, I decided to challenge our youth to raise enough money to pack and ship over 40,000 meals to an area with the most need. They would need to raise $10,000, almost twice as much as previous years in order to make this happen, so I felt safe to promise I would get a tattoo of our youth logo if they reached this milestone (yes, dumb idea I know!).
Many of our youth invited friends who had never attended church before to join them for this event. Leave it to a teenager to convince a friend of how cool it would be to go hungry and homeless for two days and do it at church. Anyway, of those first-timers, 10 of them made first-time commitments to follow Christ. Worship and prayer went for hours and as they served, believing they would change lives the Holy Spirit just showed up and changed theirs.
(If you’re having trouble making it play, make it go full-screen by clicking the square in the bottom-right hand corner.)
A special thanks to Denvil Lee (Doral Vineyard) and Shane Davis (St. Pete Vineyard) for leading their youth to join us in making noise for the Kingdom.