On January 26th, a group of young adults took a short drive from Ann Arbor to Sterling Heights, MI to lead a two hour event for a group of young people from Our Lady of Czestochowa Catholic Parish. As the name implies, all of the teenagers had strong ties to their Polish descent and heritage. Blessed John Paul II, St. Faustina Kowalski, St. Maximillian Kolbe, and other Polish saints played a prominent role in the decoration of the Church and parish center. The purpose of the event was to present the young people with the person of Jesus Christ and His deep desire to have a relationship with each one of them. We wanted to share our love of the Lord, and facilitate an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts and draw them into a deeper personal conversion.
It took a little while for the kids to feel comfortable with ‘outsiders’ speaking to them about faith. We began the event with introductions, and the kids were stoic to say the least. A few of our team members attempted to make some jokes and these attempts were met with a few smiles and mostly solemn faces. After introductions, the girls went to a smaller cafe-like room and the boys stayed in the main parish hall. Instead of starting with an overly spiritual topic, the boys began by having a Rock/Paper/Scissors championship which helped break the ice and revive the boys’ energy. Joey McCoy then gave a testimony which focused on his journey to realize his identity in Jesus. He spoke about recognizing that he was made for greatness and this calling could only be accomplished through a personal relationship with Christ. After Joey, Pete Burak spoke on the reality of Christ’s love and how this reality can transform our lives. Through personal stories, Pete painted the picture of a life lived in Christ and how this calls for a daily submission of our will to His. The talk culminated with an opportunity for the boys to publicly witness their faith by standing up out of their chairs. Every guy in the room stood up for Christ!