Hi, my name is Madison Thompson and I was involved with a program at Anaheim Vineyard this summer called STP (Summer Training Program). It is a program where different pastors from the church would teach a week on different subjects.  This went on for about three months.  It was put together by my Youth Pastor Dave Paolozzi. My favorite time was when Pastor Nigel Morris led us all in a prayer exercise.

He chose five people and put them in a circle facing each other. Then he put five people behind each of us.  He had us close our eyes for twenty seconds and see what God was telling us about the person behind us. The catch was we didn’t know who it was!  He was trying to teach us the importance of a “Butterfly thought” It was a thing John Wimber used to say. Sometimes God speaks to us in small ways. The thing he might be trying to say may just be a little thought that crosses your mind. So whatever we thought about we would keep our eyes closed and would turn around and tell the person behind us what is was. They would write it down and then they would all switch people.  I got some really strange things that I never thought would mean anything but after it was over and people shared some things that they got I realized that almost all of my mine had been spot on!

After my group of five gave the words, Nigel had us switch so the people on the outside became the people on the inside. It was super cool hearing the words God gave my friends for me! They all were super random but every single one meant a lot to me. God moves in the strangest, silliest ways sometimes. It makes me feel so special that He cares enough to tell me things.

I just want to encourage you that God can use anyone. If you think you are incapable that just means you are more than capable. God uses the humble. I was really nervous to do this exercise and I didn’t want to fail but in the end God didn’t let me down and He never will. God wants us all to share in His fun.  This program also gave me a great sense of community. I found out this summer that God puts people in our lives for a reason. Every single person in this group I would be willing to do anything for. It is wonderful having friends that share the same beliefs as you and are actually caring about your well being. I want to encourage you to stay involved in your youth groups as much as you can. It is amazing the things God can do with a group of young people. I have experienced this first hand.  “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” 1 Timothy 4:12.

Madison Thomson
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