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Spirit Descends on Youth Congress


Spirit Descends on Youth Congress

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On Wednesday night, teens were challenged to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit during their service in the Municipal Auditorium’s arena. After an hour and a half of intense worship and a cogent message delivered by a 19-year-old college student, hundreds of teens made their way to the altar areas to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The following chronicles the events of the evening.

At 7:00 The Terry Kelly Band jumped started the service, as it did the night before, and invited the presence of God to descend upon the arena.

A few minutes later, an AIM video was shown that spoofed a movie popular with the teen set. Mark McGrath, national director of Global Ministries, challenged the teens to go on AIM trips before they graduated from high school—promising such trips would change their lives.

A little past 7:15, By the Tree, a band composed of several Assemblies of God members, took to the stage. Psychedelic- colored lights illuminated the entire arena with a 1960s glow. A throng of teens wedged themselves between the front row and the stage. Within minutes the crowd in the arena was abuzz with the same electricity as the night before. Kids bounced to the beat in their seats. Others couldn’t contain themselves and leapt into the aisles where they pumped their fists and hopped—all in worship.

Two songs into their set, one By the Tree’s band members broke into rhyme tailored for the audience at hand. He implored them to wave their arms and they did. The same band member cracked out his harmonica and the teens became frenzied again, by the time By the Tree finished at 7:30 the audience was ripe and the presence of God seemed to have set over the gathering.

Terry Kelly came back to the stage and kicked off his second worship set with prayer. He instructed the audience to stand and raise their hands. "God let this all be about you," Kelly prayed. "Fill us up with You." He then asked the teens to pray. They immediately complied and their prayers filled the arena for several minutes. "Lord we desire intimacy with You," Kelly continued. "We want to be closer to You. Breathe Your breath upon this place. You said if we come with all our heart You would meet us."

As Kelly sang the teens sang along with him. It was like a huge sing along at a camp meeting only there was no campfire and rather than a handful there were thousands in attendance.

At 7:46 the worship swelled as the teens followed Kelly into a season of intercession. The murmur of the teens calling out to God rumbled through the arena for several minutes. At the mere mention of the Holy Spirit rousing applause and praise followed.

Jacklyn Pasquale, 19, a student at Southwestern Assemblies of God, came with the Word. She thanked her family, Tom Greene and the Assemblies of God for allowing her to speak at a national convention. But then her demeanor changed and she got bold real quick—_a gift from the Holy Spirit she later said. "O.K., now let’s get to the Word," she said like a seasoned minister. "Are you ready for the Holy Spirit? God is ready to descend upon this room if you are ready."

She told the audience that she was ready to see her generation step out and tap into the power of the Holy Spirit that God intended for them. "He is able to do exceedingly above and beyond in our lives," she said. "But believing is the prerequisite to receiving."

At 8:00 Pasquale was deep into her sermon. She explained what happens when one is filled with the Holy Spirit and what one can expect to change in his or her life when filled with the Spirit.

"The power of the Spirit brings a sweet anointing. It empowers to you," she said. "When the Holy Spirit comes upon you He will change your walk and people will notice that there is something different about you."

At 8:33 she asks if there is anyone who is not right with God. Several stood to their feet and made their way to the altars where youth pastors were waiting. As they came, Pasquale said, "That’s a good move." The teens roared with approval.

Pasquale then challenged those who have never been filled with the Holy Spirit or who have not let Him work His power in their lives recently to stand to their feet. Hundreds of kids stood to their feet and made their way to the altar. The throng was so thick within seconds that there was not enough room for the masses who went forward.

For those who remain in their seats, Pasquale told them to stand to their feet and ask God to fill them to overflowing. Hands went up all over the arena. Tears streamed down faces as cries for more of the Holy Spirit filled those seeking Him.

Youth leaders worked the altar area like trained doctors in a triage, but instead of medical attention they laid hands on the teens and prayed the teens would be filled with the Holy Spirit.

A collection of prayer both in English and in tongues consumed the arena. The teens went after the infilling of the Holy Spirit fervently.

At five past nine Pasquale had the teens pray for their youth pastors. She asked them to ask God to bless and fill their pastors with His power. Near the top of the arena several teens surrounded their pastor and laid hands on him—he shook and cried out to God. Similar scenes were played out across the arena as teens prayed for their elders with searing intensity.

By 9:15 the worship showed no sign of abating. Though full of the Spirit the teens spiritual appetite had not subsided—they only seemed hungrier.

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