My Experience at Freshwind 2000
Freshwind 2000 renewed minds and transformed the lives of many hungry and eager hearts.
Toronto, April 2000. Freshwind 2000 drew to a close in Toronto after changing the lives of at least 7,000 youth from across the globe who gave up their Easter weekends to experience revival.
God honored their sacrifices of vacation time and came in power healing bodies, changing lives and renewing hearts. Throughout the teaching at the conference, speakers Judah Smith, Kim Unrau and Jack Frost wove together issues of the heart and issues of lifestyle. The clear message was this: In this revival we are being called to live holy lives, and we live that life through the power of the Spirit and the healing He brings.
The first night Kim Unrau set the course for the rest of the conference. He spoke of giving up control to God, and the rest of the conference followed that road. The Father desires intimacy with us, and we can approach Him through the work of His Son on the cross. Instead of trying to hold on to those things that we treasure, we need to give them up whether it's our belongings or our image. Judah Smith's teaching centered on what he called the three rooms: the upper room, the bedroom, and the classroom, encouraging the youth at Freshwind to totally sell out to Christ in every aspect of life.
One of the most powerful moments at the conference happened rather unexpectedly in Jack Frost's afternoon session. It was quickly apparent that something unusual was happening as a different feeling pervaded the room. Jack Frost who ministers powerfully in the realm of inner healing went right for the hearts of the youth teaching us that the human ability to have an intimate relationship with God is based on our ability to love, and that there are things in the heart that often stifle that ability making it difficult to walk in that close relationship.
Youth conference messages often tend to focus solely on outward appearance and action conveying almost a "Shape up or ship out" attitude. However, in order to shape up, we need God to shape us. By dealing with the issues that can hinder intimacy with God, we are able to progressively develop our relationship with Him. This session on inner healing was the glue that helped the other messages of the conference really stick removing some of the barriers to personal devotion and enabling us to walk in God's love and give it away.
By the end of the session many of the youth were weeping, some very loudly. Testimonies came later of broken depression, renewed joy, and restoration of the sense of God's love.
This year a downtown rally was planned for Saturday afternoon. There was to be worship, sharing, and prayer at Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of downtown Toronto. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with the conference planners. But instead of letting that disappointment slow down the conference, the leaders pulled out Plan B encouraging the youth to go out to the malls and give away God's love. This provided a great opportunity to walk out what had been taught.
Worship is always a central aspect of the Freshwind Conference with nearly 7,000 youth all worshipping God together. This year Jeff Snyder and his band from Cleveland, Ohio along with Owen Hurter, Marian Van Charante, and the band Thirst rounded out the company of worship leaders leading both energetic and intimate worship times.
The teaching and worship came together in moments when powerful things began to happen. Young people were being healed from everything from colds to depression, shoulder and ankle pain and breathing problems from cystic fibrosis and asthma. There were also 300 youth saved on the first day alone with over 600 youth coming to know the Lord over the weekend. Thousands more received a new impartation of fire to take back home. Having attended Fresh Wind now for the past five years, I have watched the conference get better and deeper each year. I believe God is preparing this generation for an even greater blast of revival and Freshwind is one place where we are seeing its first fruits.