EL CENTRO — Youth from all over Imperial Valley gathered Wednesday evening to pray for their schools during the “Pre-Pole Rally” at Christ Community Church in El Centro.
Jeremiah Vik, executive director of Youth For Christ, said, “Tonight is a rally for ‘See You at the Pole,’ which is a global student-led prayer event that happens on school campuses on the last Wednesday of September.”
Vik said the goal of SYATP, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 27, is for Christian students to meet at their school flagpole and pray for their family, friends, country and their schools. The Pre-Pole rally was designed to get students excited about the event.
“Tonight was designed to get students excited about ‘See You at the Pole,’ so that they’ll be ready to come out next Wednesday morning,” Vik said.
Students stood and sang to the music led by band members playing popular contemporary Christian songs. With stretched-out arms, teenagers sang worship songs with the lyrics projected on two wide screens on both sides of the stage. Musicians of the band came from local churches.
Earlier, two emcees engaged the audience in a guessing game of “Do they pumpkin spice it?” as food and snacks were projected on the screens.
According to Vik, the teens came from different Youth For Christ campus groups, crossing denominational lines beyond the walls of their churches to unite for prayer. The sixth through 12th graders, are presently active in 25 campuses in the Valley.
Charlize Mazon, 12, is a student at Meadows Union Elementary School. During the call for prayer, Mazon went up to the stage, as other representative students did, in front of the mic. She took out and unfolded a piece of paper and read her prepared prayers.
“I am very bad at memorizing things. So, I just printed out my prayer and read off of that. My prayer was about all of the school campuses. And praying for everyone to get saved. Praying that the Lord Jesus will forgive their sins,” Mazon said.
During the singing, Mazon accompanied a friend to the front stage and wrapped her arm around her. She said her friend was going through tough times. “I just wanted to pray for my friend.”
Josue Martinez, 17, a student at Imperial High School, was among those who went upstage to lead in prayer. “I prayed for all the Imperial schools,” he said. According to Martinez, praying is an intimate and personal conversation with God.
The guest speaker, Joe Garcia, is youth pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Holtville. He gave a message about God’s desire to get connected with people through his son, Jesus Christ. He said, because of what God’s son did for us on the cross, we can all be sons and daughters. “We can all pray to God and bring healing to this nation and to the communities we live in,” Garcia said.
The goal of the rally, according to Vik, was to have student representation from each area in Imperial Valley prayed for. These areas include campuses in Calipatria, Niland, Brawley, Imperial, Holtville, El Centro and Calexico.
“I consider Youth For Christ the glue that brings youth groups and youth ministries together to plan these activity,” Vik added.