Operation Mobilization's TeenStreet (Oldenburg, Germany)
On July 23, my mom and I stopped in London and I was able to spend some time with George Verwer who took me to his favorite spot for walks. It is the historical site where William Wilberforce and William Pitt first discussed the abolition of the slave trade in the United Kingdom.
We then went to TeenStreet in Oldenburg, Germany for ten days. TeenStreet is organized by Operation Mobilization (OM) and is probably the largest Christian, youth conference in continental Europe. Over 4,000 people were present from over 27 different countries. It was incredible to be a part of this huge event.
This year's TeenStreet focused upon the HIV/AIDS pandemic. I gave my testimony and challenged the youth to build their character upon their identity in Christ as opposed to their friends, media or the world. I had the privilege to pray with many of the youth who were so open and transparent about their struggles at home.
Most have no Christian support at home. They have no churches or youth groups they attend, not because they don't want to...because there simply are none. Please pray for these youth who know first-hand, the pressures of living in a secular and post-Christian Europe and fight to remain faithful as true, followers of Jesus Christ.
At TeenStreet, I was part of an AIDS ministry team. This ministry exists to be an advocate and consultant for HIV/AIDS ministries within OM International, being proactive in promoting awareness, training and involvement. It also networks and engages with those inside (and outside) OM who are involved in HIV/AIDS ministries. The youth filled out a questionnaire with some surprising results: 25% actually thought HIV could be spread through mosquitoes, 13% thought hugging put people at risk for HIV, and the sexually active youth thought they were safe from getting the virus.
Fortunately, we helped to educate the youth through a game called Wildfire (see p. 23 of this pdf) which informed about the modes of transmission of HIV (mainly sexual contact or IV drug use). The youth also raised $40,000 for AIDS ministries as part of putting their faith to practice. Please also pray for this ministry as they come alongside the Church bringing the answer of Jesus Christ to the AIDS pandemic.