March 24, 2018
A March for Young Lives. Hundreds of thousands of marchers packed the streets of Washington, D.C. on Saturday, March 24, protesting the violence that has killed scores of innocent students in America over the last two decades. In what is being called an historical rally, young people led in the demand for change, and Church of God young people were there to join in the making of history. We, as holy young men and women, walked the same streets, calling out support and hope to the many poor, oppressed, answer-seeking young people who streamed past.
Down at the March for Our Lives rally, shooting survivors, friends of victims, and other disenchanted youth gave speeches telling of their hurt, crying out for change, crying out for new laws and lawmakers—an alleged solution they’ve been force-fed by selfish, heartless henchmen of the devil. At our rally, saints testified of freedom from sin, freedom from fear, freedom from oppression. The joy of God was undeniably exhibited by the saints as we sang and testified and rejoiced. Controversial signs waved at media cameras, along with clear, fearless interviews given by some of the saints helped to get the gospel message out to a much larger audience than we can even imagine! And though many raged at our unwavering condemnation of Hollywood and its glorifying of violent acts, others, no doubt, were touched and attracted by our witness. As one brother testified during our street meeting, we know that among the many who heard us, there are weary, honest souls who long for deliverance from the kingdom of darkness. Our prayer is that the message that has gone out will spread to every seeking soul.
“Go out into the highways and hedges…” Luke 14:23
The saints, (a group of about one hundred) met on the streets of Chicago, Illinois, at the time of the rally and “March For Our Lives”. We gathered across the field from the rally and at the place where the march would begin. It was in astonishment and amazement that we stood and watched the people gather to what seemed to be a big street party. Rappers were rapping, dancers dancing, even clowns circulating among the multitude were there to entertain. Political campaigners were also taking full advantage of the atmosphere. It was with heavy hearts we stood and watched 50,000 people gather to “demand a solution to America’s tragic school shootings,” only to be greeted by a party that would serve to once again distract them and dampen their spirits of revolution.
We split into two groups, one group taking signs with them to join in the march and the remaining group standing at our post to sing, preach and wave our signs to the passing crowds. As the rally began to come to a close, we saw people weary from the jovial activity of the event. Freezing temperatures caused people to pack up their signs and begin to walk away from the rally. As the steady stream of would-have-been marchers began to pass us, we began to sing softly. Some stopped right in their tracks in amazement. By this time, the rally was at full pitch, and the people were assembled to march.
As the people began to march, drums from somewhere in the crowd set the rhythm and the people began move out. As the crowd neared us at our post and began to pass us, we put the speaker system to its full use and began singing “Victory in Jesus”. The crowd came to a complete standstill in front of us! The faces were a mix of awe and excitement. As we ended the first song the crowds burst into applause and cheers. The preaching and singing was kept up strong during the entire hour of the march. The crowds seemed to be amazed at what they were seeing. Many asked us for information and many young people reached out from the crowds to shake the hands of Apostle Stephen Hargrave and Bro. Branden McReynolds. It seems that they knew that those two men had the answer to their problems.
There was a time during the march when the saints who were marching came up to the location of the saints who were standing at our post. We looked out, saw our fellow brethren, they looked in and saw us, and the looks that passed between us were of total triumph! We, each one, had done our part. We had changed the atmosphere that the devil had planned for those souls to march in! As the crowds thinned out and people began to leave the area, Apostle Stephen Hargrave preached for a little over half an hour. The marchers departed with the message, “Don’t let the devil steal your march!” ringing in their ears.
We thank the Lord for the opportunity that we had to spread this gospel to so many people. Our prayer is that the seeds planted will spring up into many sheaves gathered for the Lord.
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Equipped with great power, filled with much joy, and eaten up with zeal, the saints from Aylmer joined wings with the brethren from across the globe to reach the world by means of stealing the march! There’s nothing that will add spark to a fire like knowing you have the message for the hour! A beautiful crisp morning greeted us as we headed toward Toronto this past Saturday, the 24th of March. The saints divided into two groups. About a third joined in the march while the rest set up at the foot of the trail ready to burst into song the moment the crowd was in hearing distance. Though we weren’t well received at first we will never be forgotten! Our presence and our signs continued to witness the entire time we listened to the speeches and our voices were mute. In honour of those present we listened to the speeches that were made. It was touching to hear how friends and family have lost loved ones due to gun violence. It is heart-rending to see the thousands of souls that have gone through these tragedies and though they came to protest and demand a safer environment by requiring the government enforce a stricter law against guns, it was even harder to see them leave with little hope of a change.
What will the government do for them? What has it done ‘til now? Nothing. They aren’t the answer, gun control isn’t the answer. If you want to begin to find the answer, stop watching violence on the TV, stop handing it to your children through video games, don’t attend schools where they morally kill your children, stop supporting the system that is directly set up to destroy society. Don’t look to Hollywood! Begin your search by looking to us!
We, the Church of God, are the only solution! We know who we are, so as soon as we could, before the crowds dispersed we once again picked up the mics and let the answer ring in their ears as they departed. May the message of hope ever echo! “There’s power in the blood, There’s power in the blood of Jesus!!”
Some saints were able to greet and briefly speak to a student who was at the recent violent school shooting in Florida and several more contacts were made throughout the day. We firmly believe God is beginning to do a great work of gathering in souls and no doubt many have searched the Church of God website since the street meeting but even if only just one soul was helped, our meeting in Toronto would have been well worth it!
Los Angeles, California
Excitement prevailed among the seventy saints prepared to attend the March For Our Lives in one of the largest and most well-known cities in our country. This was a march instigated by young people. A march against violence and injustice. An excellent cause. And yet hijacked, by the devil so that youths truly desperate for a change in society, home, and school are caused by the powers that be to believe that by marching for gun control or against gun-friendly politicians they will achieve greater safety in their schools and in society.
As God’s people we saw this march as an excellent opportunity to not only increase our accessibility to the public but also to show these marchers, young and old, the answer. To tell them that “guns aren’t the problem” would have been ineffective. We were determined to show them instead that in a world where perhaps there really aren’t enough gun laws we have found the answer to the “gun problem.” We’ve realized that it’s a lot more than the guns themselves causing these violence issues. Celebrities who donated money and even their time toward this march have themselves acted in violent movies proving themselves part of the problem. Uninformed parents allow their children to watch these movies where they learn all manner of violence. Violent music sung by pop stars and gang bangers makes violence look “cool.” The system is set up from beginning to end to wreak havoc in our generation.
Although so far this deceiving system has apparently been successful, we resolved to show that at least a few people were not misled by it.
Dividing into two groups. the young people went to attend the march while the older saints set up to sing. As we waited for the march to begin holding our signs high, we were surrounded by cameras and phones. People began asking questions. An interviewer from BuzzFeed news approached our group and interviewed one of the young people. We were making a difference just by being there! As we marched alongside the protesters feelings of anger rose up in us as young people; to think of our generation-completely controlled by this deception. When we reached the spot that the other saints had reserved, we were fired up-ready to sing, testify, and witness of the truth. As we praised God for our freedom, many marchers stopped-transfixed by the anointing and charmed by the message of God’s love. Some danced to the beat and cameras came out everywhere. Marchers stated their amazement at the difference between us and the Republican protesters angrily shouting across the street. The glory fell as saints (mostly young a few older) testified that “we have the solution” and “salvation is the answer!” By the end of the event, ten interviews had been taken, many articles distributed, and countless souls touched. As a teenager I walked away from that march more angry than ever at the devil and the system he has set up to destroy my peers.
Young people, may I call you to action? It is time to make this rebellion our own. Do you ask, “What now? The march is over and no resolution attained.” The answer is FIGHT! Fight with the Church of God. We have found the answers. We are tired of politicians dictating the manner in which we must rebel. We have risen to the occasion and are fighting against Hollywood and the agenda of the “kings of the earth.” Their goal is to suppress the youth, but nothing can stop this generation if we stand with God! Join us!