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“Before I came to the camp, I was a very sinful man,” he continued. “But God told me, ‘I’m your Creator. Don’t be ashamed of anything in your life.’ He is with me all the time.”
After he prayed, Adel wanted to express more of his feelings, so he spent the rest of the night drawing his prayers onto one of the white papers, a picture of what God was telling him.
During each evening’s Throne Room—two hours of prayer and praise—the worship team led a steady stream of songs, Arabic words and melodies flowing from the front of the room. Singing, however, was optional. Paper lined the back corner of the chapel, pens available for teens, like Adel, who wanted to connect with God through art. A prayer team also sat in another area, ready to intercede with individuals throughout the evening.
Finding space for creativity in God’s presence is something Peter, one of the main leaders, understands well. When he was younger, he used to sit on the side during intense prayer meetings and write poetry. He responded with written words during his private time with God but also when he was with others. “Even in praise time with a group, I have my unique fingerprint of how I enjoy God. It’s good to see other people enjoying God that way,” he said.
“TeenStreet Egypt is empowering the young to reach God by themselves,” worship drummer Rafik explained. “They have time to breathe and paint and write and know God as a friend.”
“My favorite thing at TeenStreet is the Throne Room. You can feel the presence of God closer than other places,” said Christy, another young Egyptian at TeenStreet Egypt. Her friends, sitting together around the dinner table one night, agreed.
Throughout the year and during the event, leaders pray that the teens would experience God at camp. Still, some were unsure whether Throne Room would work. Even Peter, one of the leaders, thought the time might be boring for the teens.
In Egypt, teens are used to strictly structured prayer meetings at church, he explained. Throne Room, however, is different. “Day after day, [the teens] are very relaxed,” he described. “It’s like they enjoy the presence of the Lord through worship.”
“I’m really amazed by the young people who spend two hours in worship and prayer,” added Amir, one of the main worship leaders. “It’s not normal for them. It’s not normal for us, either, to stay on the stage for two hours….It’s really amazing that they can stay all this time, worshipping Jesus. It’s God’s work.”
Many of the leaders, young professionals, used a week’s worth of vacation days to lead the teenagers before God’s throne at TeenStreet Egypt. But they said the sacrifice was hardly worth mentioning.
“When you see people worship and arrive to the point that they can touch God’s presence, that’s all the joy you can have in this world,” Amir said. “You see the people meet with the Holy Spirit and feel the presence of God. We enjoy together what God’s doing during worship time.”
Pointing to the corner, white sheets covered with pictures and phrases, Amir said it was clear God was moving: “People are more open to share. You can see there are more drawings, more than yesterday. There are more people moving to pray with these leaders…All of us, we are enjoying and surprised about what God is doing.”
Pray for the teens who decided to follow Jesus at TeenStreet will continue their walk with Him. Pray for TeenStreet Egypt leaders and coaches to continue to be good examples to the young people.
Nicole James is a freelance journalist, ESL teacher, and adventurer. A communications intern for OM MENA, she’s passionate about publishing the stories of God’s works among the nations, telling people about the wonderful things He is doing in the world.
Published: Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Credit: Nicole James