Stories of Awakening: SYATP 2012
by Kevin Boer
Over a million students gathered for See You at the Pole (SYATP) on Wednesday, September 26. Groups met in masses of hundreds, while many others prayed in smaller groups; some were alone as they interceded for their friends, community, and country.
In Dallas, Oregon the Network of Youth Pastors developed a concerted effort to empower students to pray on multiple campuses. The video illustrates their story of how See You At the Pole impacted their community.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, a Pennsylvania eighth grader was getting his 15 minutes of fame...and showed up on lots of Facebook profiles.
The student, Jamin Gardner, wearing a purple football jersey, was the only one to show up to pray at his See You at the Pole prayer event at O'Block Junior High in Plum, Penna. on Wednesday morning. It was rainy. Unwavering, he knelt to pray in a "Tebow-esque" way by his flagpole, and his picture was posted on the SYATP Facebook page (go to Facebook and search for "myseeyouatthepole" or click here: http://on.fb.me/V4A2sJ).
The photo resonated with people, who responded with over 10,000 "likes", hundreds of supportive and curous comments, and sharing it on more than 1,200 other pages.
People also responded to the story of Tanner, a student at Fannin Middle School in Amarillo, Texas. The short report and picture describes how Tanner and his family used SYATP as a part of their outreach to other students at the school. Tanner's concern that nobody would show up at the prayer time on Wednesday was groundless: 300 students massed to pray at his school.
See You At The Pole is the global day of student prayer. Reports from SYATP prayer times were sent in from not only across the U.S., but also Canada, Australia, Germany, Honduras, Guatemala, South Korea and the Philippines. Australia's SYATP was held in August across the country.
Some groups met a week early, or on Tuesday or Thursday of SYATP week, because schools were shuttered on September 26 in honor of Yom Kippur, the Jewish "Day of Atonement."
So what's next? For groups like the network in Oregon, SYATP is a key part of their "school launch strategy." The effort is echoed by other networks across the country. National ministries such as First Priority use the event in the same way, with community-wide post-SYATP rallies that give students a bring friends to hear how they can know Jesus Christ too.
Besides rejoicing over students whose faith was encouraged, or took important steps to lead ministries at their schools, or came to faith in Christ, adults are being challenged to continue to pray. Donna Nuss, NNYM prayer coordinator, has created with the Network team a prayer guide that challenges people to pray for America's youth for 30 days. Read about it here: http://bit.ly/SU8EsW.