Last week I had a life changing experience! Let me share my heart with you about what has been happening lately, but first, let me rewind to let you in on something personal God has told me. Last summer, I went away for a few days to a cottage to be alone and spend time with Jesus. I was sitting on a bench by the water praying to God when I heard him clearly say to me “Laura will you go?” I was a bit confused as I replied back “Will I go, what do you mean will I go? I always go; I’ve been traveling around Canada so much lately. I’m tired from all the ministry; what do you mean will I go?” I heard him in a nice gentle voice say, “Will you go to other countries?” I cried for a while and with all the tears & snot coming down my face I said “Here I am, I will go!” In that moment, I started to pray for all these different countries, even places I didn’t even really know much about, and that’s when I knew that though it might not be easy to leave comfortable Canada, it is so important to obey God’s call.

I kept those words from God to my self for a year and then a month ago I received an invite from Youth For Christ International to come to Abu Dhabi to join three other young evangelists. I had no idea where Abu Dhabi was on the map and I definitely couldn’t pronounce it at first, but I jumped at the opportunity because the word ‘evangelism’ caught my ear. Evangelism is what I love to discuss with other people; this is my passion and I really do believe that God has called me to be a full time evangelist everywhere I go.

 

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I settled in on the plane listening to my worship music though my headphones, and right away I could feel God’s presence so strongly. I remember thinking, ‘This is going to be a good trip,’ and it really was. I dare say it was a life-changing trip as deep friendships were made and my eyes were opened to see what happens around the world.

Not only were there three other young evangelists from around the world, there were also three other “older” – I guess I should say more “wiser” – YFC staff that work on the international team. It was a delight spending the whole week with them. They mentored us and coached us. I would never trade that week for anything. I mostly connected with my friend Martin from the UK; I call him Uncle Marty because we got that tight. He travels the world reaching out to people using digital media. He knows everything about technology. I’m really into photography and filming so all week he gave me so much advice on it.

 

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On the first day I arrived, I got to share a PowerPoint presentation with the team about what Keep It Real does. After we all shared what we do, we quickly discovered common trends that happen in our different countries. We also discovered how all of our cultures were so different, but yet we had one main message to share, and that’s obviously the story of Jesus. It was powerful hearing what some of the strengths and struggles are for other evangelists my age; I could really relate with what they were saying.

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Later on in the week, in our meeting we were asked if we wanted to help with a YFC conference in September that is taking place in Bangkok, Thailand. YFC has been going for 70 years and every few years, we have these conferences called a General Assembly where YFC workers from around the world all come together. Looking at the big picture of YFC being present in 140 countries is mind blowing. It’s so great to be part of this big family. We will have approximately 800 people attending the conference this year and there will be around 200 young leaders under the age of 35 that would be our focus.

As we were asked to help plan this, something inside of me burst with excitement. My eyes grew bigger as Neil, the YFC vice president, explained to us what he expected and wanted from us. There was one moment I just sat there, still as a statue, thinking, ‘Is this for real?’ Right away, the four of us jumped at this great opportunity and with no hesitation we started to brainstorm. We dreamed big, wrote down our ideas, and prayed to God about what the seven workshops we plan would look like. We want to create something so unique that is really different from what anyone has ever experienced. We are not planning a typical conference.

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So this is really weird for me, as usually at conferences, I’m familiar with just being a speaker and showing up on the day of. Now I get to help book alot of our speakers and actually make lots of decisions on what the event will look like. What an honor it is to share my voice at something like this. I don’t think I have ever had a responsibility so big before, so I am going to take this so serious.

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My goal is to see many YFC staff come and be refreshed. I hope that people would have a deep encounter with God, their Father, and that every person would walk away with new ideas, encouragement, and tools. The theme is ‘Boldness,’ and as we spent time in prayer as a team, I kept hearing God tell me, “There will be many defining moments for the young leaders that are coming to this. Many people will come, and later on in life, look back on what happened.”

As I go there for a week and a half, I hope God grows me as a leader and it would be neat to learn a few new words in some other languages. I’m sure I will come home so changed. Ravi Zacharias will be the main speaker in the morning sessions before we break off into our groups. It’s neat to think about how Ravi was connected to YFC before as he was a director. Its inspiring to continue reaching our young people today because we really have no way of knowing who will be the next Ravi, but not only that, we have no way of knowing who will be the next mother, the next teacher, the next doctor… Every life we reach is important.

YFC really does believe in the younger generation; they are proving it by putting this job in our hands. As I was thanking Neil, the head guy, I made sure to tell him that some day, I would do the same to others that are younger than me, and that I would even now try to trust younger people more with in Keep It Real. It really is so important that we pass down the baton to our young people; we have truly missed out on what God has for us if we choose to cling onto the baton and not invest into others.

I am so thankful that YFC is out on the front lines doing cutting edge ministry with today’s broken youth. Would you partner with me and help send me to Thailand? I am right now fundraising for my plane ticket and for the registration cost of this conference. In total, it is $2000. Prayer is so valued at this time too. I can’t do ministry without you; we are a team!

From the bottom of my heart, thanks,

Laura Bronson

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