The youth pastor of Peace Portal Alliance Church got his students involved with FM419, an event preceding Rock the River that teaches young people how to share their faith. “There are now that many more students who are equipped with the Gospel and who know how to share it.”
Stewart welcomes the fresh Kingdom focus that Rock the River has brought to the area, not to mention a breaking down of denominational barriers.
“Yes,” he says, looking out over the park where the event will happen in less than 24 hours, “excited as I am about Rock the River, I think the things that are going to come out of it are even bigger.
“I can’t wait to meet the new Christians in our area and follow up with them,” Stewart adds. “I can’t wait to spend the next days, and weeks, and years with new believers.”
AJ Torres is just as excited about Rock the River, but also a little nervous. As one of the counselors for tomorrow’s event, he will pray with people who raise their hands to accept Christ. Then he will follow up with them, making sure they get connected with a local church.
The soft-spoken 19-year old moved to Canada when he was 5–after his family left the underground church in Saudi Arabia where his dad was a pastor. Now he leads worship at his dad’s new church in Surrey, one of the cities that make up the Fraser Valley.
“I am really excited and at the same time really scared because I never really thought of myself talking to someone I never met at all before,” says Torres.
But he is willing to overcome his fear, thanks in part to the training he got at FM419. “I know now that I am called to do this. He is calling me to be there and speak to someone who needs it, and show them God’s love. I know He’ll work though me, and speak through me and through the other counselors.”
Torres has been inviting friends to come to Rock the River. Even though some have said no, three are coming for sure. “I am glad. We may not know yet what God will do through Rock the River, but God will speak to my friends and to everyone who comes tomorrow.”
Churches in the area have been praying for a revival, say Torres. “We’ve been praying really hard that something will happen as a result of Rock the River and afterward–that the ripple effect will be something great.”
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The need is great and the time is right. “My generation, the young generation, is really lost,” says Torres. “They’re in the dark. We just want to lead them back to the light.
“The Gospel gives hope—even to someone who has never heard it,” Torres adds. “God’s Word is never quenched. It will affect them in some way.”