Young people from across Iowa gathered in August for the Iowa Youth Rally at the Des Moines Church. Many of those who came attend public or home schools, and the yearly event serves as a way to form friendships and connections that might not otherwise be possible. Quite a few young people from Missouri also came this year. There were over 40 attendees in all.
The theme for the weekend was Defending Your Faith, and speaker Nathan Cranson, pastor of the Ottumwa district, challenged attendees to spend daily time in God’s Word to bring their hearts and minds into full alignment with the will of God and to always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is in them.
“We all construct our own perception of reality, and that determines the way we interact with the world,” he said. “Are you willing to be made a fool in your classroom? To be mocked by friends? To take a stand for God even if it means you’re not cool?” After sharing stories from heroes of faith from the Bible he added, “Christ is waiting for you and for me. He’s waiting to see if you’re willing to choose Him. Whether you are willing to live a life of faith.”
On Sabbath afternoon, attendees were given an opportunity to share their faith through a random act of kindness. After being split into small groups, the young people made posters and assembled gift packages for Des Moines area firefighters and delivered them to several stations around the city. They thanked the firefighters for their service and prayed with them. The youth then had an opportunity to converse more with the firefighters while touring the stations and learning more about what it’s like to be a firefighter.
After the youth rally, one participant said, “The speaker was great and I enjoyed helping the community.” Another attendee who appreciated the worship talks said, “The messages were relevant for me. This weekend was awesome.”