It is a blessing to share fellowship with nearly 3000 young people in the name of Jesus and even better than that is to witness tens if not hundreds of hearts turning over to the Lord. Not only has RICE Rally 2015 tackled the question of worth, it reminded us of an even greater truth – one of welcome arms that is willing to accept those who repent. From the upfront tabling of issues that young people use to falsely assume their worth such as academic performance, friends and relationships, drinking or money to symbolically addressing the struggles that many in the world including Christians of all ages face (maybe even the issue of same-sex marriage which was addressed symbolically the RICE board and their wives in Family Feud as a declaration that a man and a woman form one of the key basis of marriage and family), RICE Rally 2015 has been an excellent opportunity for the proclamation of the Gospel even with its excess of Asian jokes.
Despite RICE Rally taking on an earlier starting time of 3:30pm in the afternoon, thousands of young people from across Sydney, a youth group from Canberra, chairs from Katoomba, brothers and sisters in Christ from many ethnicities flocked to the Australian Technology Park in Redfern for what was truly a blessed event for the Kingdom. In comparison to previous RICE Rallies, this year perhaps appeared to go lighter on the dancing, games, drama and maybe the overall shortening of the event time. Nevertheless in keeping it in my opinion simple but yet with Steve Chong preaching on the prodigal son’s return to his father in a very succinct fashion, RICE Rally has been very successful with bringing not only the name of Jesus but the message of repentance as well as forgiveness to the youth of Sydney. Steve Chong gave a brilliant reminder to RICE Rally that being that if God would send His Son Jesus to die for our sins, therefore by that we know our worth – what more can we ask for!
I was not fortunate enough to be witness to the entirety of Steve Chong’s message as setup was required for RICE Expo, to which I am a little disappointed. I pity the youth and others that were not able to make it at all to RICE Rally this year as they have missed out on hearing this wonderful message from the Bible. “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” – Luke 15:24 NIV. Whilst setting up the Auburn Youth Group table for RICE Expo, I managed to bump into an old high school friend who was a RICE counsellor for youth whom wanted to know more or wanted to speak with someone about giving their lives to Jesus. It was a blessing to see many young people and some in tears of repentence offering themselves to turn back or recommitting themselves to God. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Handing out t-shirts, pens and flyers at RICE Expo was also an encouragement particularly with several young people whom have never been to church or youth group stopping by to find out more about how things run. As well as being able to reach out to many young people, it was also a good chance to chat with youth leaders from the other youth groups across Sydney that were present at RICE Rally. Over the many many years that RICE has served the youth of Sydney, it is a blessing to see that it continues to remain true to its name being of ‘Renewal’ and ‘Inter-Church Evangelism’. How great is it when we can have thousands of young people worshipping Jesus together and for hearts to be renewed for the glory of His Kingdom.
Post by Roydon Ng. Photo Credit: “Welcome Home” (top photo by Steve Chong). All other photos by Roydon Ng.
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This article was first published in Auburn Youth Group