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The Online Mall

By the opening, which was prayer and the singing of the National Anthem, the ground at 5th and market was filling more and more. At the heart of the evening over 10,000 people, mostly youth, had gathered in Philadelphia on the lawns of the historic Independence Mall. This is the park that connects the iconic Liberty Bell and other Philadelphia historic attractions. But, it was the open space in-between, not the buildings that were making history, Friday night, September 28.

Crowds of youth, gathered in the city, for an event, is nothing new to the area, but this was different. They came not to be entertained by a rock group, pop artist or any other band genre. Multi Grammy winner, rapper, Jay-Z and his lineup of various secular artists gathered crowds, weeks ago, at his Made In America concert, on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

This group of youth came to honor, praise and worship JC―Jesus Christ. Although comparably, there were lights―floods and gels emanating from the stage, the illuminated personality was clearly the King of kings.

There was nothing like it, youth—tweens, teens, young adults, adults and families dancing, clapping and lifting their hands in times of worship.

So maybe it did rain―spiritually speaking.

There was one point, at one speaker’s exhortation that the whole crowd dropped to their knees in honor to God and in repentance.

In the Crowds

Tim Shannon, Barrington NJ came to AFJ to pray for America. He believes this is an important time because of all the things that are happening in the politically arena. He believes that America as a nation really needs to come to God, pray and seek His help and wisdom for all kinds of stuff. So he came prepared to spend the night in prayer with other brother & sisters in the Lord.

Personally, he was expecting the same―to hear from God and to get his heart in a place where it was open to hear from God. “I need God to show me things I can do not just as Christian, but as a citizen. So, I can step out of my box and do what I believe as a Christian.”

Tim’s word for America, “Get on your knees and seek God. Let’s get back to our roots as a nation. Let’s remember why we are here as a nation and seek God in every area of our life. We need to put aside all the things we as a nation have been driven by with media. We are so concern with outward things. We need to lay them aside and to seek God’s face.”

Tim goes to Good News Family Worship Center― Pastor Ray Shannon—his father. Danny Vitola goes to the same church. He came with the church’s youth group. They had been talking about AFJ in Philly since July, so he had been excited about the day for a while. He’s 12.

Danny said he had been raised his whole life in the Christian faith and loves Church. He was also excited about what Jesus had done for him. Not only was he excited about being saved himself, but excited that the Lord helped him get his friends saved.

Minister Coty from Mt Calvary Family Worship Center was preaching to us on the mall. He was excited about what was taking place at the rally. “Right now the nation and our youth are in dire need of Jesus.”

He says the youth in the nation are dying. And it is the churches responsibility to raise up a standard, not only for the youth, but for everybody. “We need to let them know that God is alive and he is real.”

“We need to pray, said the minister, because prayer changes things.” And although this was just a two day event, he believed that the crowds gathered in Philly would create a good awareness in America for the need of the King of Kings.

He believes the message of Jesus will spread from person to person and heart to heart. He believes when it does unity will connect and love & grace will abide more & more.

He came with his church and other ministers. And although they weren’t part of the evening’s roster, their youth group was in their tent praying before the event began.

“They’re praying right now, said Min. Coty for the meeting tonight. They’re praying for our leaders and they’re praying for the president. They’re praying that everything be lined up and in the right manner.”

He doesn’t believe it all will be accomplished in just two days, but that the word will get out. He believes the more the word gets out, the more it will spread from heart to heart and the more hearts connect, the more unity will abide.  He said the more unity abides, the more love will abide, and then more grace will abide.

His wife―Sis Coty came to praise and worship to give God the honor and the glory. She was expecting a tremendous shaking that would shake the earth and shock the enemy. Her hope was not just for Philly but that this move of God would spread like wildfire to the connecting city and states.

Her message to all the spiritual leaders in the church, “stand your ground―that it is built on the Lord Jesus and press forth to the mark of the high calling.”

Josue Lizardo, attends the Spaniard Church, he was raised in the Bronx NY, he’s originally from the Dominican Republic. Saved for 1 year and 4 months, he said this has been the best time of his life. He had to go and put more money in the parking meter.

He was ready for the worship. He traveled to Philly & AFJ with his church. In His personal relationship with the Lord, He says his soul is satisfied and he’s not looking back.

AFJ Rally September 28―Philadelphia

It was a later start than announced. The speakers and artists for the evening were still performing mike checks. Maybe 500 or so folks were scattered in groups and pairs waiting for the opening voice. The sky was overcast. The weather forecaster had predicted rain.

They were wrong.

Youth for Jesus

Philadelphia 9.28.2012

By Terrence Clark―Chief Editor,

Voice of One Online ©2012