• Jess

My Experience Of Soul Survivor

For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” – Matthew 18:20

Yet with 10,000 people in a football pitch sized tent all praising God, words can’t even begin to describe how incredible the atmosphere was. For those who don't know, Soul Survivor is an amazing 5-day Christian Summer Festival which I attended over the past week.

It was such a beautiful experience to witness those around you being infected with the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus Christ. As we worshipped together, there was an overwhelming passion for Jesus that set us all on fire for the Lord.

In the last year, God has worked with me – He's taken everything: the good, the bad and the ugly and He has transformed me into His new creation. I’ve grown so much spiritually that I am no longer the girl I used to be…

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

By no means am I perfect, however, this one talk spoke to me, because although I’m not proud of the girl I used to be, the truth is when we give our lives to Jesus we are not defined by our past. Instead, we can receive total peace and freedom. I've never felt so safe being able to expose myself to become vulnerable and let go.

I’ve never really had that crazy moment where Jesus drastically changed my life – I’ve grown up in the Church ever since I was born, so my testimony isn’t very interesting.

Yet, there was this one moment at Soul Survivor which I’ll never forget… Mike Pilavachi had invited anyone who felt a burning passion and calling on their life to evangelism to stand up so that others could pray for them. My heart began to beat fast: I knew this was me, but a part of me was holding back.

As he continued talking, I kept reminding myself it’s now or never and as soon as he said “stand up” my reaction was almost impulsive. I stood up instantly, with open hands eager to receive. I remember desiring for the Holy Spirit to convict me and give me the courage to be a full-time ambassador for Christ.

One of our youth leaders, Naomi, and my friend Elena laid their hands on me and began to pray and instantly the Spirit began to overwhelm me, to the point I was uncontrollably shaking and trembling vigorously. I’ve never experienced anything like that before - it continued for a good 15 minutes and then it just stopped and a wave of serenity and complete peace settled on me.

At this moment I just knew God had called me to mission work and to spread the Gospel. I already knew that God had placed it on my heart to study Theology at university, I just never knew where this would take me. Yet, after that encountering with the Holy Spirit, it made it clear that this blog is just a stepping-stone into a much bigger purpose God has for me.

I’ve received so many blessings because of this blog and now all I want to do is glorify God and share the Gospel with my life. I aim to become totally vulnerable like how Jesus emptied himself and allow God to use me in whatever way He wants. For that moment of serenity was so comforting, as it was the perfect indication of the plans God has for me…

Everyone seemed to have been touched by the Spirit, from tears to laughter, the magnitude of love and support that could be felt in the air was ineffable. I guess waking up at 6 am to line up for a shower in the freezing cold, tripping up on the guy ropes multiple times and shivering in sleeping bags was not too bad after all. For the atmosphere whilst worshipping was beyond incredible: a glimpse of what heaven may look like…

Another aspect of Soul Survivor I thoroughly enjoyed was meeting new people and catching up with friends I hadn't seen in ages (shout out to the guys at Christ Church Purley – it was nice seeing you all again!)

Every night there would be a party in the basement and each night, without fail, I would get crushed in the mosh pit when the beat dropped – it was well worth it though! When Guvna B performed, we were front row and centre and many of us competed in the inflatables challenge, attended seminars, tried out skateboarding and even participated in a reckless game of bulldog. On the last night, we even managed to get Phil (another of our youth leaders) crowd-surfing.

Thank you to everyone at Orpington Baptist Church (OBC) for their incredible support, prayers and for making my second time at Soul Survivor one of the best experiences ever! You guys are my brothers and sisters in Christ and will be missed a lot…

Soul Survivor is an experience that will never be forgotten and although the journey may have seemed to have come to an end, it is not the end. Instead, it’s a catalyst, now that we are filled with the Holy Spirit, to continue to walk with the Spirit and radiate the love of Christ to others…

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Created By Jessica Fernandes