It happened at one of our MIX conferences for middle schoolers, at a camp near Lake of the Ozarks. It’s secluded area – I never have a cell signal there – and it’s tucked away in beautiful Missouri hills right next to a lake that reflects moonlight just as brilliantly as the sun. I was so aware of the sky this year, and so grateful when the leaders of the event invited the students outside for a moment of worship.
More than a thousand students were gathered close, harmonizing with just the sound of an acoustic guitar and our worship band’s voices. We lifted our praises to the Father with nothing but the sky between us as the sun disappeared over the horizon.
Believe me when I tell you, there is something tangible about the Holy Spirit. We heard with our ears the message of “we are not alone,” and it was fresh in our hearts and minds in that moment. We felt around our wrist a little, black bracelet that read, “Never alone.” I watched with my eyes as students wrapped their arms around each other, and I felt God’s Church surround me.
I’ll never forget this moment, or Blake – a middle schooler I had met earlier that day – who hugged me during this worship session. Another new friend and sister in Christ named Sydney joined us and we prayed over Blake – knowing God would never leave him, asking Him to guide and protect his young life and praising Him for allowing us to experience such community in His Church.
I pour myself into the students I’m privileged to meet, but really, I think I’m the one who is encouraged the most. Their faith is beautiful, their future is bright and their memories with MIX I hope will always serve as bricks in their foundation on the Lord.
I gained so much when God showed me in that moment that true worship doesn’t happen to the sound of a blaring instrument – it’s carried out in the way we live every day and serve others under the same sky. My prayer is that others feel the gifts of the Holy Spirit and His Church this year at MIX as well as MOVE because I certainly did.
Becca Haines is a communications coordinator for Christ In Youth.