FM419 Hits the Mark in Milwaukee

by | Jul 13, 2011 | Charisma Archive

bgea_fm419For Violet Rose Heckman, FM419 was a place where, for once, she
really connected with other people. The 18-year-old is working to
overcome childhood abuse and several suicide attempts. Trusting other
people and forming close ties has been a challenge, “but it was easy to
talk to people there,” she said.

“The FM419 leaders prayed with
me and helped me believe in my dreams and believe in myself,” said
Heckman, who wants to help other people experiencing the kind of pain
she felt growing up. “My God and my art helped me more than anything;
now I want to serve others. FM419 was a good boost to that vision.”

Heckman
is not alone in her enthusiasm. More than 730 people from the Milwaukee
area came out to worship with Aaron Gillespie and learn more about
Christ and how to share Him with their friends during the upcoming Rock the Lakes event Aug. 20-21 at Veterans Park.

FM419,
a youth-oriented version of BGEA’s Christian Life and Witness Class,
prepares youth leaders and students to be a light in the darkness and
qualifies them to serve as counselors at Franklin Graham Festivals and
Will Graham Celebrations.

John Cass, one of the trainers in
Milwaukee, emphasized the importance of the gospel. “The intent with
FM419 is to challenge young people to step up and step out, that the gospel isn’t something to be ashamed of. And it’s not just because God’s
Word says so.”

Cass told the audience: “If you start living out
how your life has been changed, if other people see that, they are going
to watch you live this thing called life, and they are going to want to
know what’s going on.”

The gospel is the key to reach young
people, Cass said. FM419 is effective because it specifically targets
youth. “That lets kids know they are important. We help them reach their
demographic—their friends, their neighbors, their family—in a setting
that is not like their parents’ or their grandparents’.”

Effective indeed. More than 140 people made decisions for Christ at FM419 in Milwaukee a few weeks ago.

“The
event impacted the lives of students at our church, and that following
Sunday, one of our students gave his heart to the Lord,” said Genene
Hibbler, a youth pastor in Milwaukee. “It was a revival for young
people. The three speakers were very personal and inspired the students
with their testimonies.”

David Santiago, another area youth
pastor, said: “Everybody loved it. The speakers did an amazing job and
the information presented was meaty. The message and teaching was right
on and the students were changed by it.”

“The content was
amazing and the way it was delivered kept it live and moving,” said Phil
Schank, Rock the Lakes student committee head. “Watching the kids come
together to worship was very powerful.”

“It was awesome,” said
youth pastor Tom Gessner. “I wish we could have more of these events
throughout the year. It really encouraged students to share their faith
and it was all very relevant to their lives. FM419 gave students the
opportunity to enter into God’s presence and called them to love other
people like Christ loves us.”

For Gessner, the call to love God and love others really stood out. “The song that Aaron Gillespie sang with the lyrics—For all Your sons and daughters who are walking in the darkness, You are calling us to lead them back to You—was really inspiring and relevant.”

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