The Greater Sydney Conference youth rally on Sabbath ended with earnest prayer—for the guest speaker’s newborn son who is fighting for life.
Pastor Michael Polite, associate chaplain and lead pastor at Andrews University, had been conducting a youth week of worship at Wahroonga Adventist Church when he received the heart-wrenching news that his wife had gone into labour and the baby was to be delivered three months early.
Understandably, he was ready to take the first plane back to the US to be with his wife Lorraine and baby Jesher, their first child. But after talking it through with his wife, he stayed in Sydney to finish the week of worship and youth rally.
Pastor Polite told those at the rally that he and his wife had been praying for the program for a month prior to his arrival in Sydney. Despite the challenges she was facing, Mrs Polite urged him to stay and complete the program. She told her husband that God had given him a special message for the youth of Sydney and that that message needed to be heard.
“Live Loud” was the theme of the program, which began on March 4 with a presentation by Pastor Ray Moaga after Pastor Polite’s flight was delayed in the US. The program continued each evening, concluding with the youth rally on Sabbath (March 10), which was attended by about 1000 people.
At the youth rally, Pastor Polite spoke about the need to seek the Holy Spirit’s presence within us all of the time, not just momentarily when things get tough.
“This Live Loud movement means so much to me because I can see the Holy Spirit using this movement to call everyone here today to take over the city of Sydney, not just to increase the membership of your churches, not just to increase your tithes and offerings. I’m talking about declaring war on the realm of darkness and saying God loves the city of Sydney,” he said.
Wahroonga associate pastor Richie Reid said Pastor Polite’s messages were inspiring and gave a fresh perspective to some well-known Bible stories.
“It was fresh and vibrant and straight to the heart of the young people,” Pastor Reid said. “It was really well received.”
The Sabbath program was made extra special with the baptisms of Wahroonga youth Rosie Fairfax and teenagers Mia and Mason Windus.
It was the second time that the Greater Sydney Conference has partnered with Wahroonga church to run the youth rally. Wahroonga’s youth team organised the week-long program with support from the church’s teens.
“If I could write down all the small and large miracles that happened throughout the whole seven days of intimate worship and fellowship, I would,” Wahroonga youth leader Josh Hacko said. “I just wish my pen had enough ink!
“Seeing three people baptised on the last day . . . sealed off a time of deep and profound exploration of the nature of God. A true love that guides through hearing not through sight. Believing through faith, not through works.
“Who knows what the impact of this week of worship truly is, or will be. All I can say is that I am confident in the new generation of loving, actively worshipping young people. Come and see us at your local church—mentor us and guide us, listen to us and empower us for we are the future and Christ is our goal.”
Podcasts from the program are available via the Wahroonga Adventist Youth Facebook page.