Final Europe Post –
Days 5 and 6 – Lancashire County, England
After visiting Amsterdam and Paris, we traveled to England. Our time in England got off to an amazing start, meeting our good friend Joel in person for the first time. Following my interview on CBN’s “The 700 Club” back in December, we had a significant concentration of adults and young people alike reach out to learn more about HowToLife. Joel was one of those people. He reached out to both HowToLife and me from every possible angle that he could (Instagram, Facebook, and more) hoping to learn more about HTL and see if we had any advice for him. Joel is unique in that he and his sister, Nadia, have already made a huge difference for Christ through planning a very similar youth-led event like HTL last September. That was a big part of why Joel was so interested, as he wants to do something like that again on an even bigger scale.
I responded to Joel’s messages, and we were both very excited to stay in touch. We had a Skype phone call earlier this year, and after that, we both saw it as something of God that we had connected, and that hopefully I could visit him sometime in his hometown. This past week, we finally had that opportunity!
Joel’s family hosted us for a couple days. We learned so much about England, and tried many English foods, including English Yorkshire tea, crumpets, fish and chips, Twiglets, and so much more. We also learned that we are supposed to cheer for Liverpool FC football (soccer), because our host said they are the best. We had some incredibly fun conversations, constantly discussing similarities and differences between America and the U.K.
Joel and his family hosted a cook-out for many young people from his area to attend. The group that attended represented multiple area churches and schools. Similar to the conversation we had in Germany, we had an amazing time connecting, talking, and praying. We learned about the spiritual tone of the area, and how so many teenagers want nothing to do with God. One girl said, “It is a trend to be an atheist here.” The group elaborated on this, saying that science and logic are way more convincing than religion to most of the young people they know.
The next day, I had the privilege to attend and be a part of Joel’s church service. I was able to share with the church group about my heart for reaching the next generation, and all that God has been doing through HTL in the States and now beyond. We had an incredible time of prayer and fellowship.
After our time in England came to a close, we knew we had made some incredible, amazing friends in Joel, Nadia, and many others. We are praying seriously about planning and working toward the first ever HTL event in England, likely around the same time that we have our event in Germany. This will be so amazing, and we are so expectant about what God is going to do.
Days 7 and 8 – Scotland and Northern Ireland
Joel and his family said goodbye to us at the train station, dropping us off for our journey to Glasgow, Scotland. We met some amazing friends in Scotland, including a teenager named Lauryn that we have been connecting with through Instagram. In our time here in Scotland, we got to learn so much about the area, as well as see some amazing, historical and medieval architecture. Scotland was once the number one country for sending out missionaries in the world, yet now, very few young people know Jesus.
It was very encouraging to connect with Lauryn and her friends. They are working to make a huge difference for Christ where they are, and want nothing more than to see other Scotland teens come to know Jesus. We had an amazing time of prayer with them, and are excited to stay in touch about seeing what God may do in Scotland in the future.
After our time in Glasgow, we flew to Northern Ireland. Here, we got to connect with some great ministry friends of mine and my family’s. It was a very nice part of our trip, and so incredibly beautiful. In the future, we are excited to connect with more teens from here that we have been in touch with as well.
From My Heart . . .
After our time in Northern Ireland, we flew to London, where we had one more day to visit and experience Europe. Now, we are on a plane back to America, concluding our amazing journey. So much has happened so quickly, it will definitely take some time to process. Even so, here are some of my initial final takeaways from this trip:
- God is not done with Europe, especially the teenagers. While it seems to many that the times have never been more far from Jesus in Europe, I believe that God is preparing to do something big. I often say that it is no accident where God sends us. It is no accident that Joshuwa and I had the incredible privilege to meet with fellow young people in Europe this week. While the leaders for Jesus are few and far between, there are some. There is hope. In America, we have continually said that teenagers listen to other teenagers more than any other voices in their lives. I can say confidently that that fact holds strong in Europe as well. I believe that the potential is limitless for what God can do through these amazing European teens.
- Social media is and will be a huge accelerant for the advancement of the Gospel in the coming years. Generation Z is the most social media savvy generation in world history. And that is not just in America. Teens use social media all over the globe. Why were Joshuwa and I in Europe this last week? God opened the doors to connect with these amazing young people – through social media. A global Gospel movement of Generation Z could spread throughout the whole world through social media. That has already been happening some with HowToLife.
- Time is short. It is urgent that we fight the battle for Generation Z. And not just in America. Generation Z is the least Christian generation in American history. I would argue that that same claim applies to Europe, and a majority of the world. Generation Z teens are lost all over the world. If we don’t do something about this, the future is very grim for our societies. We need to see young people leading for Jesus and helping lead their friends to Jesus all over the world – from Dallas to England, from New York to Hamburg, from Singapore to Seattle, and everywhere in between.
I am so encouraged by how God moved on this trip to Europe. We are expectant that God has something exciting and powerful in the works. I would love to see a truly international team of young people come together for Jesus, and what that could look like. And now, that is already beginning! We have an international team of teenagers working together to reach their friends for Jesus. My generation is in desperate need of Jesus, in the U.S., in Europe, and all around the world. I believe that if some of the strongest Christian teens and young people in the world could come together for the cause of Jesus Christ, bypassing traditional international and denominational boundaries, there is absolutely no limit to what God can and will do. We are in desperate need of Jesus, through a new youth movement to reach the world for Christ. I so want to be a part of what God is doing.
Please continue to stay in touch, as I would love to invite you to follow the coming updates about what God is doing with Generation Z around the world. We would love for you to join us in what God is doing as well through prayer and support.
Peter quotes what God told the prophet Joel in Acts 2:17, saying, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy; your young men will see visions.” Whether or not we are in the last days, I do know that time is short. I pray that God may pour out His Spirit on Generation Z. I cannot wait to see what God is going to do in the months and years to come!
June 4, 2018
by Jordan Whtimer
Amazing time in Germany!
The meetings in Europe have been incredible. Here is today’s blog entry by way of video. Thanks for your ongoing prayers and support! God bless you!
“HowToLife is Headed to Europe!”
By Jordan Whitmer
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Yesterday, I boarded a plane going overseas for the first time in my life. For the first time, I am visiting the continent of Europe. This trip, however, is no ordinary trip.
Three years ago, God put it on my heart to do something more to reach my friends for Jesus from around my community. It saddened me that so many teenagers in my area did not know Jesus or want to live for Him with their lives. It was this year, during my junior year of high school that I and some other Christian teenagers mobilized an event to share Jesus with the teens of our community. This very first event, which we called HowToLife, had a huge impact for the Gospel in my community, leading many young people to seek Jesus from my community. This event was led completely by teenagers, for teenagers.
Following this first event, little did I know that God would begin to use this unique movement of young people to impact teens all over the United States. In just three years, the HowToLife Movement has had an impact on teenagers in 13 states, both U.S. coasts, and all four main time zones.
These HowToLife events have been successful and have had an impact because they are led completely by teens. Teens listen to teens more than any other voices in their lives. I believe fully that God loves using teenagers that have a pure heart and passion for Jesus to reach their friends with the Gospel.
Fast forward to now, I am currently on a trip focusing primarily on connecting with Christian teens in Germany, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The continent of Europe has perhaps been the most Christian continent in the history of the entire world. For centuries, Europe has been a center of global evangelism work. Sadly, the young people here believe this is not so anymore. Europe could likely be classified as one of the most “post-Christian” areas in the entire world. It was only 75 years ago that nations such as the United Kingdom were a global force for Christ. But now, Europe is full of old cathedrals and churches. These buildings are used for many purposes, but rarely ones that involve Jesus.
One could make the case that Europe is “beyond reviving.” But I have faith that God is great, and young people around the world are in need of Jesus more now than ever. This opportunity to see HowToLife potentially spread to Europe is not something that I could have just concocted myself. But because of the influence of social media and technology, God has been naturally opening many doors here overseas. It seems teenagers that love Jesus are few and far between. But there are some incredible young people that God has been raising up, for what I believe to be “for such a time as this.”
As my friend Joshuwa and I begin to connect with teens this week in Europe, we are expectant that God has something exciting and powerful in the works. Since HowToLife has picked up this rapid pace of expansion, I have begun to dream and pray about what a truly international team of young people for Jesus could look like.
Will you join me? Generation Z is in desperate need of Jesus, in the U.S., in Europe, and all around the world. I believe that if some of the strongest Christian teens and young people in the world could come together for the cause of Jesus Christ, bypassing traditional international and denominational boundaries, there is absolutely no limit to what God can and will do. We are in desperate need of revival, a youth movement to reach the world for Christ.
Please pray for safety, health and wisdom as we travel. Also, please pray for open doors, and open hearts for our upcoming meetings with students in Europe.
If I could be even just a small part of what God is doing, I would be so incredibly humbled and honored. I would love to invite you to follow this journey, and join what God is doing as well through prayer and support. Time is short. I cannot wait to see what God is going to do!
Watch this exciting new HowToLife video — we must win the battle for our generation!”
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