Hello From Dr. Tony Rizzo,
During our Summer Youth Safety Zone outreach this summer, we had a tremendous time ministering the Gospel to over 70 students and leaders.
My team searched the streets in Upper Darby, PA, on the west side of Philadelphia, for parents and students to attend the upcoming Youth Safety Zone event. We handed out hundreds of tracts and flyers in the community for three days. On the day of the event, we saw students come to the event an hour early before it even started. By kick-off, a strong group of 25 students and parents came out. We started our event with a dodgeball game in the parking lot across the street. This is where the neighborhood can see a big attraction to the event games like this and want to bring out students when they see this wild event. The parents are also curious about how we approach the students and control the event. They learn the program firsthand and often comment on the students' excitement. As we continued the dodgeball game, the game picked up a few more students. Finally, we brought the students in for pizza and had about 35 students there.
I appreciated the team of college students that Evangelist Sam Frey brought to help me reach out to the City for this week of evangelism outreaches. We had seven college students who brought energy and excitement to the outreach. It is always essential to have young people connect with young people. Encouraging the next generation of Christians to be bold in their faith is necessary for spreading the Word of God to the ends of the world.
The students had plenty of pizza and drinks and were ready and willing to hear our gospel challenge. We kicked off this second half of the program. We had another 29 students watch and listen to the gospel presentation. Seeing the many students happy to come in and watch all happening in our Youth Safety Zone was refreshing and encouraging.
We held a Kids Safety Zone that night for the elementary students who came out. The Kid Safety Zone is a separate area of the building where young children under Eleven can hear the Gospel Message and play more appropriate games. We were happy to provide this service for the younger siblings of the teenagers who wanted to attend the Youth Safety Zone.
At the Youth Safety Zone, my friend, Dave Braun Evangelist, gave a special gospel illusion message, and Evangelist Sam came and presented a paint board message of the Gospel. I wrapped it up with the wordless book color presentation and gave out bracelets to all who came. We challenged the young people to receive Christ as their Savior and come forward for counseling about this decision. We had 30 students and a few parents who came forward and wanted to pray and receive the Lord as their Savior. I was jolted to excitement to see such a significant response. Our college team of counselors came forward with them to take them to our counseling areas to explain to the students what it means to trust in the Lord as Savior.
After counseling, the students hung out with me and the other evangelists and discussed their lives and the good times at this event. At the event's end, they receive gifts for sports or school supplies. Our Suffering Scholarship Program provides needed school supplies and sports equipment to students and their families. This is our eighth Suffering Scholarship Supply Giveaway this year of 2023. Thank you to the many who have given to this needy and exciting program. The students are very thankful and appreciative of them all. If you are interested in continuing to help our Suffering Scholarship Program, you can either donate or apply here - Suffering Scholarship Package
Students like to linger after the program and talk with the college students and me. We get to know the students so much better by sitting with them and hearing about their stories of school and sports. Some leave with their hands full of gifts, Bibles, Bible studies, extra pizza, and counseling materials. It is overwhelming to see them walk out of the building with their hands full and overflowing. Your support helps make this a reality; thank you. Some of these students have no positive friends or mentors to talk to about their lives and the problems they are interacting with. They may be the forgotten of the forgotten—the least of the least. We seek them out, want to be their friend and encourage them to trust the Lord. One young lady who attended had a severe disease on her hands, making them drier than sandpaper. I don't think anybody would ever want to shake her hand or spend any time with her. She trusted in Christ as her Savior that day.
As the last few students left, another group of boys, 8 of them, came in, ages 13-15, and just wanted to sit down and see what was going on. We were beginning to pack up to head out, but we decided to give them a special presentation of the gospel message. They all were willing to receive the Lord as their Savior and received counsel that night. While they were in counseling, another group of just girls came in from ages 12-15 and wanted to know what was happening at the Youth Safety Zone. We sat with them, and our girl's college counselors gave their testimonies and the gospel message. The seven young ladies wanted to receive the Lord as their Savior and had an opportunity to be counseled. Both groups left with many gifts and Bible study materials.
The parents who could attend watched in amazement at all the students who came in. We were able to share the Gospel message with students and the parents that were there. Some parents trusted Christ as their Savior and wanted to know about the local church and how they could connect with other Christians.
Youth Safety Zones are our primary method of sharing the Gospel with young people in the City. Some 55,000 souls have come to know Christ through Youth Action Ministries since 1981 and have their hearts turned to God. We have seen many young people called into ministry and serving the Lord. Our Youthfluential Digital Ministry is growing, and we are excited about that! We look forward to the expansion of our Safety Zones throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding area. To God be the glory for all He has accomplished! Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for our next Safety Zone Week.
Interested in Hosting a Youth Safety Zone or Volunteering at our next one?
Missionaries To The Teens of America,
Dr. Tony & Becky Rizzo
America's Youth Evangelist
Youth Action Ministries
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