Editor’s Note: This is the first part of this two part story. Visit harrisondaily.com to read the story in its entirety.
“What an amazing blessing to join the HowToLife Movement (HTLM) on their zoom call and hear from Gen Z young people around the world,” said one adult participant.
In the winter of 2015, Founder Jordan Whitmer shared how his burden for his friends at Harrison High School grew from four people praying about a local event which had 700 teens in attendance and 75 responding to the gospel, to now more than 155 events held around the world. There have been local events held In 29 states, 10 countries on four continents. In 2023, the movement was able to host events in Singapore, Malaysia and Africa.
One of the adults on the call has been involved from the beginning, said it was just amazing to see what God is doing through these young people who are so burdened for their generation. “I know they won’t back down from sharing the gospel because they have a great network of support from so many people — of all ages,” she said.
Statistics show that only 4% of Gen Z follow Christ. Whitmer added, “But of those four percent, they are strong in their faith and they know Jesus is the only hope for their peers.”
Gen Z is known to have one of the highest rates of anxiety issues, depression and suicides than other generations. “Jesus is the hope for Gen Z,” Whitmer said.
The theme verse for this year has been Rev. 7:9 which mentions seeing all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues standing before the throne worshiping God. “It really shows the scope of this movement and what God is doing.”
One of the student leaders said she was raised in a Christian home, but when she went away to college there was so much brokenness and confusion. It was easy to be intimidated by the darkness you could feel. “I was lonely, and heartbroken because the students were so closed off to the possibility of the gospel.” Through the Movement, she met other Christians in the area and became encouraged. Her prayer is for God to soften hearts and be open and vulnerable to God. She encourages students to not hide from God. She’s praying for their intense hatred of the gospel to be softened and make them willing to consider Jesus is their only hope. She is preparing for a spring event in her area and said, “Even if only one person accepts Christ, it will be so worth it.”
Another youth leader on the opposite side of the US said, her area is also very closed off to the gospel, too. She found HTLM during the pandemic but was too young to really participate. Now she is a student leader and excited to get teens off the fence and see that there is tremendous freedom in Christ. “They are seeking everything but Christ. And only Jesus will bring them peace and joy. So I’m praying we can show them that freedom in Christ. Our event is planned to be next to a huge mall and we hope to invite many young people to come.”
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