Sunset Oaks SDA Church
Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass, and as the showers on the herb.—Deuteronomy 32:1-2, NASB
Twelve months of planning, over three hundred decisions for Jesus, one weekend in March.
In the scriptures, God’s extravagant love and grace is again and again represented as showers of rain that God desperately desires to pour over the thirsty ground of our hearts. And this is exactly what took place this past March at the annual youth revival hosted by Sunset Oaks Seventh-day Adventist Church and conducted in partnership with Renewed Heart Ministries.
It is truly amazing to watch the adult congregation “give up” the use of their entire facility for one whole weekend, once a year, to be used entirely by and for the purpose of reaching our young people. It’s a weekend during which young people can feel safe. They’re not going to be judged on their differences. The burden is simply that they experience a deeper encounter with Jesus over the course of the weekend than prior to their arrival. There’s lots of energy, and a power-packed combination of prayer, worship, and Bible study. It is truly electrifying to witness.
This year, each session seemed to usher the young people into a fuller encounter with God’s character of love and a commitment to letting His grace become the compelling agent in their lives. The weekend culminated with a very personal and powerful presentation on the love of God revealed through the cross of Christ. The result? Over three hundred young people got out of their seats and came forward to answer the call for full surrender to Jesus.
The greatest impact, though, was observing the leadership of the church—who had invested their time, energies, and talents—and seeing tears well up in their eyes as they realized that, for these three hundred plus young people, it was all worth it! There was rejoicing at that moment in heaven for sure, but the visual of seeing everyone who had put so much effort into this event witnessing the fruits of their labor was a memory that will not quickly fade.
God has promised through Isaiah, “I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants; and they [your offspring] will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water” (Isaiah 44:3,4). Through Zechariah, He says, “Ask from Me rain at the time of the spring rain, and I, the Lord, who makes the storm clouds will give them showers of rain” (Zechariah 10:1). Certainly, these promises found a fulfillment through the Divinely blessed efforts of Sunset Oaks this March. In the greater Sacramento area, and in the hearts of the young people who attended, there was heard . . . sounds of rain.