Generation Rebuild

Author: Will Desmond

Generation Rebuild

A couple of years ago I was sent into the corridors during a mission to pray for the school. As I entered one corridor I saw ahead of me a girl sitting on the floor outside her classroom. As I approached her I asked her if she was ok, to which she replied: “I’m fine”. But as I passed her I had the sense that God wanted to say something to her, so I stopped and prayed. After a few moments I felt that God simply wanted me to tell her that He loved her. So I went over to her, crouched down, and said “I really feel God wants you to know how much He loves you.” She responded “Yeah I know, I’m a Catholic.” To which I replied, “No, I don’t think you understood what I just said, God really loves you!” She looked at me and started to cry. She then began to share with me all the struggles she was going through at that point in her life. So I offered to pray with her, right there in the corridor, and Jesus brought his hope and light into her life.

Providing a space for God to move

This is the purpose of Sion Youth’s secondary school missions, to bring the hope, faith and love of Jesus Christ into the lives of young people and provide an encounter. We emphasise to schools that all we want to do during a mission is to provide a space for God to move. In preparation for mission, we pray, listen, fast and wait upon the Lord. He is always faithful to us; I do not believe I have ever been on a mission where he failed to turn up. Some of the places he moves particularly powerfully are in prayer ministry and Lightfever, which is adoration of the Blessed Sacrament held

during lunchtimes. Up until about a year ago the testimonies from pupils and staff at the end of a mission week were all pretty much focused upon prayer ministry. However, a year ago we introduced ‘Lightfever’, a “come and see” model of Adoration based upon ‘Nightfever’, the German initiative currently taking off all around the world. During lunch breaks we simply invite students and staff whom we meet in the corridors and playgrounds to come and light a candle in the real presence of Jesus. They can come for as long as they want and there is absolutely no pressure. On average we see around 300 pupils come into adoration (during their free time) each mission week. My prayer intention as team leader at the beginning of last year was that we would see Eucharistic revival and people meeting Jesus personally in the Blessed Sacrament. It is happening.

We train pupils in prayer ministry

When we provide prayer ministry we desire to see it continued in the school after we have left, so before the mission we have a number of days where we train pupils to pray with us. We train them in the prophetic and how to pray for healing and ultimately how to minister the Father’s love through scripture. There can often be a perception held by the pupils that the mission team visiting the school are the ‘holy ones’ and God can only move through us. However, we explain that this is definitely not true! I am reminded of a moment last year when I shared how I was a sinner as much as anyone else and that I still made mistakes. Three months later a girl came to one of our events and told me that because I had said those words she chose not to commit suicide as she realised that the ‘holy bloke’ who seemed to have it altogether, also failed and made mistakes. This gave her enough hope to carry on living. God literally uses anything and everything in us when we allow him – even our failures!

Helping young people to enter into the Mass

Having started to see pupils and staff drawn to the Blessed Sacrament in an incredible way we are still left with perhaps the greatest challenge of all, to help a school enter into the Mass. The sad reality is for many young people that their faith is dry and they rarely meet Jesus in the one hour they give to Him every Sunday. It is for this reason we have begun to permeate all our mission material with the Mass so that young people are led to a place of realising the magnificent mystery that they can enter into every Sunday and for the rest of their lives. A Sion Youth Mission is a mountain top experience, dynamic and exciting. Unfortunately it can often be far removed from the young people’s typical Sunday Mass experience. Yet I believe as we unite our incredible Catholic tradition with the passion of a young team, like the ones I work with who are desperate to see revival brought to Catholic Schools, we can be confident that God will find and rebuild a lost generation through the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. Be assured, Aslan is on the move.



Signs and Wonders in the classroom

Report from the Sion Youth Blog

On Monday we visited all the students in their classrooms. One particular year 10 classroom was proving to be pretty uninterested during their session. That is until we started speaking about miracles! However they were still pretty sceptical and so we were surprised to see some of them turn up to the Naturally Supernatural Workshop on Wednesday. We spoke about the miracles we had experienced and gave the pupils a taste of what God can do. We then provided a space for God to move. And boy did he move. First we had the sense that he wanted to heal the people with bad joints. A guy put his hand up saying his joints in his thumbs were damaged and in pain due to boxing.

Hearing this we showed him that we had written down before the mission that God wanted us to pray with someone with a problem with their thumb joint in their right hand. It also turned out that God had given us his name which we had also written down before the mission. The pain he was experiencing was about 7/10 (10 being the highest pain). We proceeded to pray for him as another student laid hands on his thumb and after a few moments we asked him to test it out. Not only was all the pain gone, but he was able to perform his double jointed party trick which he hadn’t been able to do for months. We then prayed for his left hand and the same thing happened. GLORY!

Towards the end of the week we caught up with him and he told us how even when he shared what had happened with other people, they were really sceptical about the experience. We thought this was really interesting as he had been exactly the same with us when we shared our experiences on the Monday. He now truly understood what it was like to tell someone about the awesomeness of God and yet not see any response which can sometimes be really hard.

After him we prayed for a guy who had tendonitis in his knees. After we prayed for him he tried some press ups and all the pain was gone. We saw him the next day and asked how it had been in rugby training and he said there was still no pain. PRAISE GOD.

The final person we prayed with in the workshop was a girl who had tendonitis in her ankle. She was not able to point her foot at all. But after prayer there was no pain and she was able to do it. The truth of Jesus is that where His Gospel is proclaimed signs and wonders follow to confirm who He is – Our Saviour.

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