Stories

The power in stepping out

by David Ridley

As I approached the shopping centre, I noticed a group of young people loitering by the entrance. Almost immediately I felt a prompting from the Holy Spirit to go over and start up a conversation with them.

David has just been appointed to the role of National Mission Director for YFC Australia to oversee grass root ministry activities in our local regions along with national projects. He currently resides in Darwin with his wife Ruth and three young children having moved there in 2013 to relaunch YFC mission in the region.

I wasn’t there for ministry, I was there to do some banking and it would have been more comfortable for me to continue on my way. They were smoking and doing their thing, while I’m clean cut and clearly not one of them. But I’m learning to be missional with my whole life even when it makes me nervous.

So I decided to do it scared and stepped into their area saying something to the effect of “hey, how are you going?”

The young people were also aware that I was out of place and gave little response beside questioning my presence. I explained I was there because I’m a Christian and I wanted them to know that God loves and cares about them and that they could have a relationship with God if they chose to. I then offered to pray for anyone that wanted prayer.

…an expression of pure astonishment came over her face. “Wait… what the…!”

Half of them didn’t really engage with me, and some mocked, but one teenage girl stepped forward, albeit tentatively. She said she had a sore back that I could pray for. It was sore for her to move around and it was giving her pain in that moment.

So, with her permission, I placed one hand on her shoulder and prayed a simple prayer, just like Jesus did in scripture.

As she started to test her back out, an expression of pure astonishment came over her face. “Wait… what the…!”, she exclaimed with several expletives. The pain had vanished and she wasn’t sure how to respond.

As I chatted further with her, she asked if I could pray for something else. A few months earlier she had been playing a game with her friends where she had declared to the devil that if she could roll six sixes in a row he could have her soul. She was just mucking around but since that day, she shared, she had been experiencing a recurring nightmare that she couldn’t wake herself up from.

I prayed again for her to be freed from any demonic spirits in her life and for her to know God’s peace and His spirit.

That day she experienced the tangible reality of God’s power in her life. Afterward she told me it was like her inside had been swept clean and a gentle warmth had filled that space. It was the healing of her back that helped her see that God could also remove oppressing spirits and forgive her sin and brokenness.

What I love about this story is it demonstrates the biblical truth that the apostle Paul declared to the Corinthian church. “I didn’t come to you with wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power. So that your faith wouldn’t rest upon the wisdom of man, but on the power of God.”

I love the different ways that people can encounter God. And I love how he can use anyone for His glory as we step out in faith where he leads us.

Your gifts, prayers, advocacy and encouragement are growing the mission of Youth for Christ in this nation. And I want to thank you for the personal sacrifices you make for the cause of seeing a generation of youth for Christ. I know it’s not always comfortable, but when we’re following Him, it’s always worth it.

National Mission Director, David Ridley. Thanks to you, passionate missionaries like David are able to focus their energies on sharing the Gospel with young people.