'Divine appointment' gets Yk youth readyChristian convention rally draws young crowd
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Organizers estimate 280 students and family members came out for the event, which was part of a winter rally tour for the annual spring convention organized by Edmonton-based Extreme Dream Ministries.
The gathering is taking place this year from May 24 to 26 in Edmonton.
Over the past 12 years, several hundred young people from Yellowknife high schools and churches have travelled - sometimes in bus loads - to YC Alberta, said Vineyard Church pastor Ryan Peters, who helped co-ordinate Sunday's event.
"It's really varied year by year how many people go. Some go every year, some only go once, but I know that everybody who goes is definitely impacted and enriched," Peters said. "It's always been a fantastic, uplifting time, spiritually, relationally and emotionally."
The Sunday night event, which featured a full-length concert by Christian band Bluetree, originally from Ireland, was "just a taste" of the three-day, multidenominational youth conference, which typically draws up to 18,000 participants each year, said Mike Love, executive director of Extreme Dream Ministries.
"We want students and young adults to have an encounter with Christ. So we put a big focus on bible teaching, on worship, and the weekend is also filled with things like concerts, workshops, and training," Love said.
"It's just a great equipping weekend as well as a weekend of great challenge and to remind students that God loves them and he has a purpose for their lives and he wants to use them for that purpose."
Love and members of Bluetree were excited by the turnout at the rally event in Yellowknife.
"It was absolutely amazing. This was a tremendous turnout. It just goes to show you, the people up here have a real hunger for things like this," Love said.
"Honestly, Yellowknife for me was the thing that really kicked things off," said Bluetree band leader Aaron Boyd, who talked about the band's experience seeing the Northern lights on the ice Saturday night. "God's footprint is just all over this place."
Love called the event in Yellowknife a "divine appointment.
"We needed to do a tour to the North not for the bison, the wildlife, or the scenery, but because we felt called," he said. "Because God has something in store for the North and Yellowknife."
The tour started earlier this month in Edmonton, and travelled to Saskatoon, Banff, Alta., High Level, Alta., Loon Lake, Sask., and Hay River before the Yellowknife stop.