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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




Youth Alive: What God Can Do

By Emily Tharp
June 29, 2014

Age is never a deterrent for God, something Anna Fouts knows firsthand. She was only in seventh grade when she felt the pull of God on her heart.

“After a radical encounter with God at a youth camp, it was clear to me how desperately my friends at school needed Jesus,” Fouts says.

At the start of Fouts’ eighth-grade year, God placed the dream on her heart to start a campus Bible club in her middle school.

“I tried to get it going, and it just didn’t work out that year,” Fouts says. “But I still had that tugging on my heart.”

When Fouts started as a first-year student at Ferris (Texas) High School, a loosely formed Bible study was already meeting. But after visiting a few times, Fouts was disheartened.

“Not that many people went, and they kind of talked about the same topic every time. Eventually most of those people graduated,” she says.

After speaking with one of the few remaining club leaders, Fouts discovered plans for continuing the meetings weren’t concrete and she transitioned into a leadership role during her junior year of high school. At first the club seemed to be on an irreversible decline, a good meeting hosting only about eight students. When Fouts had to miss several meetings for academic reasons, she began to feel discouraged.

“I just thought, What’s the point of even going if not that many people are here?” Fouts says.

But then God used a Wednesday night youth service to remind her of the passion she has for her fellow students.

“The message that night got me fired up again. I told some people we’d be having Bible study that week,” Fouts says.

She hoped for a large group, but only one other person was there, a fellow student named Emily.

“I just said, ‘God, what do I do with this? What do You want?’” Fouts says.

God answered that prayer through the single attendee when Fouts began to discuss her discouragement with Emily. Fouts thought she was going to minister to Emily, but it turned out the other way. Emily laid hands on Fouts and began to pray. Both girls were crying by the end of the prayer.

“I’m so grateful for that moment,” Fouts says.

After that one-on-one meeting and lots of hard work, Fouts says, things began to pick up. Soon the Bible study meetings averaged 15-20 students.

“Through the end of my junior year we had about 30 who came to every meeting,” Fouts says. “The next year, I wasn’t sure if we’d have Bible study on the first day, but I had people calling me before school even started asking if we would be meeting. I said, ‘Hey, if you want to have it, I’ll be there.’”

Forty-two students attended the Bible study on Friday the first week of school, and record attendance since then has reached 52. Ferris High School hosted the Seven Project with Youth Alive, and approximately 275 people came to Christ during the evening assembly, something Fouts considers amazing.

“The best part of this is seeing what God can do,” she says. “To see lives being turned to Christ, not even in church but on a public school campus, is incredible to me.”

For other students who may be struggling to start or continue their own club, Fouts says three Ps are essential: prayer, persistence and passion.

“God could be just waiting for someone to step up and say ‘I don’t care what it takes,’” she says. “Your dream is there for a reason.”

Fouts plans to attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University this fall in nearby Waxahachie. She used the remainder of her senior year to equip other students to share their faith and keep the club going at Ferris High School next year.

“I won’t be far from them at Southwestern, and I’m going to visit when I can,” Fouts says. “I want to keep working with these students because God has more to do at this school.”


EMILY THARP is editorial assistant of the Pentecostal Evangel.

 

 

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