Remnant Fellowship Ohio Regional Gathering 2016 – Excited about GOD
Teenagers today do not find it exciting to get up early and go to church, even though it is ten minutes down the road. I, and many other youth members of Remnant Fellowship, could not WAIT to get up at the crack of dawn and drive seven hours to Columbus, Ohio, to worship God and be with His people. Yes, we were excited about seeing the saints, and taking a mini vacation, but the MAIN source of our joy is getting to see GOD work and move in the hearts of His saints!
A long road of Joy
I had the honor of getting to ride with Will Langsdon and Hannah Travis on the way up! Where else on Earth can you find people who want to get up at 3 am, in order to leave by 4:30 am? It was one of the most joyful car rides any of us had ever been on! We began with a prayer, and with coffees in hand, we hit the road! The sun was far from up, and there was a beautiful chill in the air. We listened to Gwen Shamblin’s lesson from the Strongholds series titled, “Save your heart for me.” These words from God are timeless, and apply in every stage of life! We were all so grateful for even ONE class or sermon from God, but to have as much access as we do is an amazing and humbling gift from our great God.
God created such a peaceful, loving, and joyful atmosphere in the car! The beauty of getting God’s spirit in you, so that you WANT to serve and meet the needs of others is incredible. Will had us singing and laughing the whole way up, and I cannot praise God enough that I have friends like this that are selfless and humble! We truly are the most blessed people on the face of the Earth.
Open Arms and Giving Hands
We arrived in Ohio around 11:45 am that Friday, and were immediately greeted by the amazing Fickel Family who had graciously opened up their home for all the youth to stay in. Today, anyone would think that housing 15-20 youth in their home is crazy, but because of what we are taught here, there is no worry about any ungodliness, only love and joy! Terry and Sharon Fickel are true saints. They have put every word of this message into practice and it is evident in the way they have raised their children, Grant and Abigail. Every member of the youth group said many beautiful and accurate things about the Fickels, but the word that stuck out he most was “Generous.” They never think of themselves, only looking to the needs of God first, and others next. They opened up their home for the whole weekend, providing food and bedding, I don’t think I saw Mrs. Sharon sit for longer than five minutes before she was up meeting another need. I am so grateful for even one example of a servant, but in this place, we are surrounding by hundreds of examples!
“There is nowhere else in the world that you will find a group of people willing to drive from 7 different states and several hours to gather in a hotel conference room and watch church together…my favorite part of this weekend was the spirit led youth time of testimony and sharing what God has done in our lives and what we have been putting into practice.” – Grant, Ohio
A Kingdom of Love
Later that evening, we went to the Hilton Garden Hotel in Columbus to kick off the gathering! I had prayed at the beginning of the trip that God would allow me to be used to encourage His saints, but I can say in full view of God that I have never been more convicted and more charged by the lives of the saints who do not live in Nashville. These people are SAINTS, and they are WARRIORS. They never have one thought of themselves, but only wanted to GIVE.
People who I had only seen on Facebook, or had seen on a new member email were now standing in front of me, and it was like we had been best friends forever! Sweet Ellen Giermann and her daughter Melissa were some of the first people I got to meet for the first time, and I was completely blown away by how much they are running after this, and it convicted me to the core to give more love and to show more ADORATION to our great God!
“There’s not one face without a smile, and you can feel the love and happiness- it’s so refreshing after being in the world!” -Ali, OH
“I’m amazed that so many people from Nashville came to be with out of towners!” -Melissa, OH
We stayed at the Hotel for several hours, fellowshipping and meeting everyone, and then, around 9:30 at night, God brought the most joyful car full of youth to the front door of the hotel. Tom and D’Linda Law drove a van with about 10 youth from Nashville and it was AMAZING to see them immediately jump out of the van and look for ways to serve, not giving one thought to themselves. Only because of what we have been taught, can we truly be out of self and love! No one wanted to go to bed, and we stayed up fellowshipping and laughing until 3 am or even later in the Fickels home. We genuinely WANTED to be together as a youth group because it is a breath of fresh air after being stuck out in the world during the week.
“It had been super testing the days before the trip, but I knew that meant that I needed to go, and it was the SWEETEST TRIP EVER… getting to see all of the out of towners was super sweet and encouraging!” -Melissa, TN
A Sabbath to Remember
Gathering with the saints that morning was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. Pure selflessness was being lived out in every person. People jumped in to help with technology and seating, and people provided communion. I cannot do justice in describing the love and joy I saw that morning in simple words, because God did something so amazing to my heart. On top of all of this, we heard the most amazing message delivered from God through Mrs. Gwen, and amazing testimonies from the leaders to back it all up. We were all so charged to be the person who changes for the better so that GOD may have the group of people that He deserves- Genuine conviction, and immediate action.
As we sat down for lunch, we talked about the message, and convictions on where we needed to change for the better. Youth in the world do not leave church and want to continue to talk about God. We were so in awe of what we heard, and were so excited to put it into practice. What a calling, come out and be Separate from the World, and to be PERFECT in everything!
“I am standing by the river of Love!”
After lunch, the Fickels opened up their home for everyone to come fellowship. A hundred people, sitting and fellowshipping, talking about God and convictions and tests. Every face had a smile, and every heart was full of gratitude. We were so blessed to have Matt Weaver, the Bakers, and Josh Smith there so that we could have a jam session, and you could feel God’s presence there.
The highlight for me was gathering with a small group of youth downstairs and talking about God and where we had made the choice to turn to God and follow Him above all. Where else on Earth do you find youth that are this mature at a young age? It doesn’t happen. I wish I could take the snap shot out of my head and put it into this article like a video clip. It was truly the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed! As I walked around, so many beautiful things were being said, but the word that stuck out to me the most was “gratitude.” Everyone was so GRATEFUL for the chance to change, to grow closer to God, and to put what we heard that morning into practice. Selflessness is like a bug, once one person catches it, it spreads until not one person is grabbing for more, yet bending down to hand someone a cup of cold water that leads them to God.
“What an amazing weekend…I feel closer to my friends and became closer with those who I wasn’t, Praise God!” – Mason, TN
In conclusion, I am so grateful. I feel so humbled, and I am more aware of what I need to change so that I may be one step closer to the heart of the father. It is so amazing that two and a half days of non-stop appreciation and serving can give you a lifetime of knowledge on what it means to be a true servant, just by looking at the examples around you. I am not the only member of the youth group that feels this way, and I feel so humble and undeserving to have been asked to write this, but I pray that God uses me for His glory.
“It’s been a blessing to get to come and be reminded how peaceful it is when you’re in God’s spirit… no stress and no drama.” – Parker, TN
I praise God for Remnant Fellowship, and more importantly, I am so grateful to God for calling us in this generation to be a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation, without stain, wrinkle, or blemish! I can say on behalf of all the youth that attended, we are behind this message and we will live out for the rest of our lives!
Written By: Alexis Mendl