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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mission Reports: Solomon Islands on Fire----A Youth Arise Meeting in North Malaita in December 2005

Seventeen years ago on the island of Malaita in the Solomon Islands my life was changed as I had an encounter with God as a fresh wave of revival broke out. This event was preceded by several days of fervent seeking after God. I had never, before then, encountered people that were so hungry to know God. Coming back to the Solomon Islands I once again was able to be refreshed as I had the privilege of joining with my Island family in worshiping our great God.

Traveling with me were two young people from Finland, Jussi Valkonen and Mikko Mertenen. We arrived in the Solomons on the 8th December and then travelled across to the Aroma Centre on the Island of Malaita to attend the Men's Arise gathering. We were able to take with us a PA system donated to the Aroma Centre by Tieri Baptist Church. The people were most encouraged to have their prayers answered with the provision from God of a PA system that was just ideal for their needs. We certainly knew that God our Father was blessing us as we encountered no obstacles in transporting such heavy equipment all the way to North Malaita. The presence of God was very tangible as we arrived at the Aroma Centre. As we gathered for worship we immeditely knew that God was doing something. Jussi tried to express it in these words:

"Praise is rising up with a native people's tribal language, as the evening darkens, from an amphitheater formed by the nature. The congregation that is gathered there works as a worship choir and the only audience are the heavens, where, perhaps, taking part is more important than listening, too. The familiar feeling rises again, from somewhere deep inside. I've come home. The man was created to worship his Creator".

We travelled back to Honiara on Sunday the 11th December and arrived in time for the opening of the Youth Arise conference. The conference went for 5 days with over 1000 young people taking part during the day and well over 2000 joining in for the evening sessions. Michael Maeliau, Milo Silata, Emmanuel Fave and myself shared in these evening sessions. On one of these evenings, just as the speaker concluded, rain began to fall. The young people gathered did not run for cover, but instead began to respond to what God was saying. This resulted in them dancing before the Lord for over an hour in the rain. Throughout this week God was doing a mighty work in the lives of these young people. On the last night the young people gathered at the rubbish dump and marched up to the parliament house. About 1000 young people took part in the march with others then joining with them at the parliament house as Jesus was declared to be the rightful King of Solomon Islands. This was a triumhal procession of King Jesus. In the Solomon Islands as well as in all the nations of the world there are many things of God that have been thrown out (ie. righteousness, justice, love, true worship of the living God etc.), and many things of evil that have been lifted up in the nation. Now is the time when Jesus is moving in the nations of the world and calling for repentence. Otherwise judgement is coming.
During the evening program a new song was presented by the young people from Malaita (about 600 had come on a specially chartered boat) calling for the gospel to move out from the ends of the earth and go to all the nations of the earth back to Jerusalem. This was a very moving time as the heart of God was so powerfully expressed by the young people. The Deep Sea Canoe vision is very much in the hearts of the young people.

It was a great blessing to fellowship with both the men and the youth of the Solomon Islands. There remains such a great hunger for God and an open responsiveness to the Holy Spirit. In December 2007 the Youth Arise conference will be at the Aroma Centre on Malaita. I pray that the Lord would be gracious to me and allow me to be back in the islands at that time. May you continue to know a burning hunger in your heart for God,

Blessings Geoff Armitage @ http://youtharise.com/

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