Category Archives: Devotionals

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Messages of Encouragement for Suffering and Persecuted Believers

Our Wednesday nights over the last couple of months at The Edge have focused on the themes of suffering and persecution.

Over this time, we learned that as believers in Christ we will face persecution. As Jesus said in John 15:20:

Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.

We also had opportunity to hear testimonies about the persecution our brothers and sisters experience in other parts of the world through videos created by Open Doors USA. Here are two of the videos we watched:

 

Finally we heard the good news that the story for believers does not end with persecution. Just as Jesus promised us that we would face persecution, he offers us his peace in the midst of our suffering:

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

While our youth in Canada is far removed from the sufferings that followers of Jesus experience around the world, we wanted to do our part, to pray for those of you who are persecuted. We also created some artwork to share on our blog to encourage those who are suffering right now with the knowledge that you are not forgotten, that we are thinking of you, and that we are believing God will give you the strength to endure.

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Blessings!

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Creativity Showcase

We have some amazingly talented young people here at The EDGE. Today we want to feature the creative gifts of one of our own, Katie-Lynn B. Here is a poem she has written to share her story. We hope it encourages you to stay strong, no matter what battles you may be fighting.
 
Every Scar Has a Story
Every scar has a story
An unknown,
unspeakable,
unexpressed story
A story that wants to but
doesn’t know how to be
revealed
I want my scars to show
Of how I’ve overcome
Of how I made it through
Through all that I was from
I want my scars to whisper
Of the pain that I have faced
Of the suffering from within
The marathon that I have raced
But most of all I want
my scars to share the story.
The story of a girl, who had no hope.
The story of a girl who was fighting a battle,
a battle she has won on her own.
And because of that battle
she has these scars
The scars of a story
that has finally been revealed
The scars of a story
that has been expressed and spoken
A story that will be known because every scar has a story
– Katie-Lynn B.

 

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Reflections from a Youth Grad: Blog Post by Mandisa Ngcakani

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What to say about 5 years with the youth of IGC? I’m not going to say there are hardly words, because there are a lot. I know that I’ve grown so much throughout these years, in leadership skills, people skills, confidence, and I’ve grown spiritually.

For those of you who may not know, I am spending the majority of the next 2 years in Prince Edward Island for college, which is a very difficult and scary move, but one that I feel ready for. Still, your prayers are much appreciated! I am so, so proud to be a part of this group and leaving it for an extended period is not something I’m really looking forward to.

If I could give some wisdom to the youth coming in (and maybe even the current youth), it would be to really give youth group a chance; put your 100% into the experience. You might surprise yourself with how much you impact others, how much fun you’ll actually have, how much you can learn and grow, or where getting involved will take you. I know that that totally sounds like something a principal would say on the first day of high school, but I can honestly say that the shy, quiet, unsocial (is that the word?) person I was when I started is not who I am today because of how much I put in to my years here. Take advantage of the opportunities!

To all the youth, I would say to remember that everyone is figuring it out as they go along, just as much as you are. Whether it be in their everyday life or in their spiritual life (they should be the same thing, but I’m trying to make a point), everyone struggles. We have to be diligent in relying on the people around us, because we can’t do it alone. And yes, people are going to let you down sometimes – sorry. But reaching out to people when they’re in need, or when you’re in need, is a good thing to get a handle on. Dwight L. Moody said, “I have never yet known the Spirit of God to work where the Lord’s people were divided.” In John 17:20-21, Jesus prays, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” Personally, I want to see the Holy Spirit move in this youth group, and that comes with all of us praying together, worshipping together, being together, total and utter fellowship, complete togetherness. And I pray that same prayer for you guys; not just for the good of our group, but as a huge example to the broken world we live in.

Finally, to the leaders, I hope that you don’t forget the impact that you have in our lives. Sometimes the smallest things will mean the most to us; I know that some of my most memorable moments of God working in my life was through you guys, mainly just simply in conversation. I know we can all be a handful sometimes, and that you put your hearts into your ministry. So on behalf of all of us, a big big thank you.

On a personal level, I am so very thankful for the highs and the lows of being a part of this youth group and this church. The people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve had, made for experiences that I wouldn’t change a second of. Until I return again, I love you guys and will miss you all. I am praying for you and am excited to see where God takes you in this new season!

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Only Two Weeks Left! Are You Ready?

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Have you dug out your fall clothes yet? Bought all your pencils and binders for back-to-school? Made plans for that last summer beach day? We are just a couple of short weeks away from the first day of the new school year, a time of new things for sure, but also a time to get back to the old routine of waking up early, after-school activities, and – don’t forget – all that homework.

As you prepare to get back into the swing of things, I’d encourage you to take some time and prepare your heart for the year ahead. It’s all too easy to set aside our quiet time with God in the excitement of summer, but nothing starts a new year off right, like digging deep into God’s word.

Check out these quiet time devotionals from Vision2Hear over the next couple of weeks and make sure you’ve got your spiritual gear ready, not just your backpacks.

Praying for God’s blessing and peace for each one of you in this busy time of year.

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Walking into the Heart of Mexico: Blog Post by Chelsea Munyanyi

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There are moments in our lives that we’ll never forget; things that change the way we see ourselves and see those around us. It’s crazy how one hour of a day, one day of a week; one week of a month can change your heart. Mexico did that for me.

I didn’t grow up knowing I wanted to do mission’s work. I didn’t have anyone in my family who was a missionary and honestly, I learned what a “mission’s trip” was three years ago at a Windsor Conference. It’s not as if I didn’t want to help the lost and travel to a country that needed saving; I just thought it wasn’t in my agenda for the future.

Long story short, little by little, God started to turn my heart to those who were lost overseas. To all the children who were alone and scared and didn’t have anyone to look after them. In addition to that, I had an unusual passion for learning languages, particularly Spanish. I didn’t know how those things were connected back then but somehow God led me to learn about this orphanage in Mexico called Rivers of Mercy.

There are so many details to how I was even able to volunteer there and how I found out about the place and how my family felt about me traveling to a country where I didn’t know anyone for the purpose of carrying out God’s purpose for my life; however, typing all that would turn this blog post into a novel.

Volunteering at this orphanage was…well life-changing. I led activities for the children (there were about 45 kids who lived at the orphanage), assisted in bible lessons, did tons and tons of dishes, tended to their cuts when they played too hard, tucked them in at night and the list goes on and on.

Those kids were so loving and caring and protective. That orphanage—those people who live there—are one, big family. Of course there were ups and downs and I had to resolve arguments between kids when they were speaking in Spanish at like 90 miles an hour but the Lord helped me manage.

All I can say is none of this would have been possible without God. I had to lean on him 110% every hour of every day. There were times when I was exhausted from the heat and times when I felt overwhelmed by the bonds I made with the children that I was going to leave behind and joyful that any of this was possible.

I have truly understood what it means to put aside my emotions and feelings for the plans of God. Sure I’m not perfect; however, I understand what it means to trust God and know that He will direct your path.