Young People Challenged To Go All In For Christ Reaching Out To Their Generation
By Rick Kern
The Joshua Revolution’s “Niagara Youth Conferences” are among the few heavenly encounters held in an earthly venue that routinely eclipse all spiritual expectations. With a decades-long history that has resulted in countless people coming to the Lord and Christian leaders being raised up, the conferences have inadvertently created a distinct spiritual legacy. “It leaves a lasting impact,” notes Mike Chorey, Founder and Director of Joshua Revolution, the ministry that produces the event. “Now having done it for over 20 years, we’re hearing so many stories of kids that got saved at Niagara who are now pastors, who are now in ministry.” He continues, “They’re bringing their youth groups back to Niagara Falls because that was where they were saved. That’s where they were delivered from sin. God is the one directing this. He is the one who gets all the glory.”
And according to Mike, the Lord is leading them to continue their signature youth event again this year. “He has specifically told us that He wants us to keep doing the Niagara Youth Conference,” Chorey explains. “We stopped in 2012 and we brought it back last year. It’s just amazing to watch the Holy Spirit work when the message of the cross is preached without compromise and He changes the lives of these young people.” Accordingly, Niagara ‘19 is scheduled to begin Friday, December 27th, and run through Monday, December 30th. Taking place at the “Conference & Event Center” in Niagara Falls, New York, as usual, the event is geared toward Junior and Senior High School students, as well as youth workers.
However, though largely focused upon critical youth-related issues, in a somewhat singular pioneering thrust the Joshua Revolution is also encouraging entire families to attend the four-day spiritual summit. “We not only want youth groups to come, but we want families — moms and dads to bring their sons and daughters,” Chorey notes excitedly. “We believe Niagara ‘19 is one of the best family vacations you can take. We’re really encouraging parents, while the kids are off from school, to bring them to Niagara ‘19.”
Mike has worked with young people for the past 35 years. He began his ministry with the organization, Youth for Christ and established Joshua Revolution, a youth-oriented ministry focused on sharing the Gospel, some years later. With a heart to see people reconciled to God, Chorey has invested his life in various outreaches over the years including city-wide conferences, evangelistic campaigns, public school ministry, radio, missions, and much more. He and his team are committed to bring young people and their families into a personal relationship with Jesus. And to that end, in addition to his current work with Joshua Revolution, Chorey also serves as Senior Pastor of CrossRiver Tabernacle, an independent church that radiates the love of God, located in Grand Island, New York.
The conference themes change from year to year and this year’s is taken from Isaiah 6:8 which says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” Chorey elaborates, “The theme of Niagara ‘19 is simply Send Me. The goal is that every young person would have an encounter with God, they would experience the holiness of God, repent of their sins and hear the voice of God saying to them, ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’” He continues enthusiastically, “And these young people would answer that call and they would say, ‘Lord, send me to my public high school. Send me to my middle school. Use me…’” Given Chorey and his team’s love for God and young people, it is more than realistic to expect that at the Niagara ‘19 “Send Me” Conference, students will be challenged, motivated, and equipped to live for Jesus, and to go home and share the Gospel message with their peers.
And if there ever was a time for Christian youth to catch a deep and passionate vision of the heart of God for their peers, it is now. With a montage of social pathologies among today’s teens growing so dark and disturbing that they resemble a network of memes from a Stephen King anthology, our young people have become an unimaginably desperate mission field.
Chorey explains what he observes in youth culture today, “There is an onslaught of immorality and everything has been turned upside down. Most young people do not know the Word of God and many of them are turning to alternative lifestyles.” Continuing he adds sorrowfully, “Some of them are cutting themselves due to pain and hopelessness. Many of them are suicidal. Some of them have become violent because of the way they’ve been treated. They’ve been bullied and they live in a culture that is so accessible to sin and immorality, to lewdness and lasciviousness. The culture they live in has really lost the shame of sin.”
And while the entire subculture is drifting through a darkness so spellbinding it chills you to the bone just reading about it, Chorey and his team remain faithful and unintimidated. He is very aware that the deeper that darkness, the brighter the light of God’s love blazes in it. “But, in the midst of that the Scripture reminds us, ‘When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him’ (Isaiah 59:19),” he contends. “There is a remnant that is arising that is willing to stand up and say, ‘I love Jesus and I want to introduce you to the man that has changed me and saved me.’ In history, when the enemy comes on strong, we always see God responding by raising up a people.” Going on he observes, “And it’s usually young people who get fed up with the culture that is rejecting God — who become willing to stand up and love that culture, and embrace it, and tell them the truth of what Jesus has done for them at the cross.”
Each and every conference throughout the years has built an alliance of hope in Christ with a commanding roster of musicians, ministers, and programs, and Niagara ’19 is no different.
Some of the speakers and artists include:
Craig Scott, a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting and brother of Rachel Joy Scott who was the first to be killed there. Craig watched helplessly as two friends on either side of him were murdered while he was miraculously spared. Since the tragedy at Columbine, Craig has dedicated his life to making a difference in schools, sharing his and his sister’s story through Rachel’s Challenge and the Value Up school assembly program. Speaking on a number of issues, the biggest thing the shooting taught him was the value of human life.
Pam Stenzel, is the former Director of Alpha Women’s Center, a counseling center for women undergoing crisis pregnancies. Her experiences taught her that before teen pregnancy and STD rates could decline, attitudes of teens toward sex first had to change. Desiring to bring about that change, Pam started speaking nationally full-time and is in great demand both in the U.S.A. and in other countries such as Mexico, Australia, Ireland, and Canada. Drawing from her personal story, as well as her visits with teens around the world, Pam talks about the consequences — both physical and emotional, of sex outside of marriage. It’s been her experience that, if given the facts, today’s young people are fully capable of making good, healthy decisions.
Bill Wiese was a deeply committed Christian and successful real estate broker who led a somewhat mainstream life in service to God until November 23, 1998. That night, the Lord gave him an out-of-body experience as an unrepentant sinner in hell. Reminiscent in character of the vision described in 2 Corinthians 12:1-2, the terrifying experience has been captured in print with the title, “23 Minutes in Hell.” As a New York Times Best Seller by Charisma House, Wiese’s book has sold over 1 million copies since its release some 13-years ago and been published in 15 languages. Bill and his wife Annette left their real estate careers and founded “Soul Choice Ministries” in late 2006. They have since dedicated their lives to traveling full-time sharing the truth about hell. There have been countless stories of salvations, Christians re-committing their lives to Christ, and many others being ignited with a passion for the lost. Though it is severe and intense, Bill views his message not as condemning, but rather as a warning. It is a message that expresses God’s great love for mankind, and His deep desire for people to receive His gift of eternal life and escape the horrors of hell — which He did not create for mankind, but for the devil and his angels.
Additionally, actor Caleb Castille who played the lead in the movie, “Woodlawn,” will be there. Woodlawn is the true story of a watershed move of God among Birmingham, Alabama high school students through sports chaplain, Hank Erwin. Showing up at Woodlawn High School to speak to the football team, ultimately, the Lord wrought an amazing work through Hank leading to a move of the Spirit so dramatic, it was made into a movie by the same people who made the movie, “I Can Only Imagine,” (and who happen to be Hank’s sons, “The Erwin Brothers”). Niagara ’19 is going to show the movie, “Woodlawn” to participants, and Hank, now in his 70s, will be there to speak as well.
There are other speakers as well, and music will be shared by the Joshua Revolution band along with Sam Cornell and Rachel Ford from Louisiana, who appear on the Sonlife Broadcasting Network. “We think the music is not going to entertain kids,” Chorey emphasizes, “it’s going to bring kids into the presence of God and they’re going to know how much Jesus loves them — and there’s nothing like the presence of God to change a young person’s life.”
Niagara ’19 is free admission for the four-day/three-night event. Joshua Revolution is also encouraging young people to reach out and bring lost friends to Niagara ‘19. .
For more information about the conference or Joshua Revolution, you can visit their website at www.joshuarevolution.org, e-mail them at email@example.com, and call Joshua Revolution at (716) 229-8000 or toll free at (888) 444-2920. The official website of the conference is located at www.niagaraconference.org and has all the pertinent details as well.
It is Mike’s desire that the Lord would raise up a spiritual force to be reckoned with among the young people who attend this year’s conference. “My hope is that they would go home from Niagara ‘19 and they would walk down their school hallways, onto their athletic fields, whatever they do at their school, and they would bring the Gospel of peace to this troubled generation.”