Our First FRUIT. Magazine Release Party
On Memorial Day, we had our first ever FRUIT. Magazine Release Party for issue 16 at one of our facilities! We were able to bring Bizzle and Austin Lanier with us. We also had DJ Lion come out. Both Austin Lanier and Bizzle performed and put on great shows! You have to be a little creative when you have a concert in a juvenile facility because the youth have to sit in chairs but Austin and Bizzle did a great job of engaging with them during the show. The young men and women loved it so much that some of them stood up and started dancing! They really had some fun time to just be kids and they ate it up! Austin and Bizzle shared how God had worked in their life to help them overcome many of the same obstacles that our youth face daily. They also presented the Gospel in a way that made sense to our kids. Bizzle even has a song that lays out the Gospel that he performed. Afterwards, Austin shared the opportunity for the young men and women who wanted to accept Jesus to pray with him allowed.
Of the 69 youth who were there, 33 of them prayed to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. That is awesome! Austin also prayed gave a time for people to raise their hands for unspoken prayer requests and 38 youth and most of the adult staff raised their hands and Austin prayed over them. Austin also did a great job of helping those who had prayed to accept Christ understand the need to follow through in discipleship and explained that it is not going to be easy, but that God’s way is always the best way.
After the performances, we hosted a “VIP Reception” for all of the kids who had been on good behavior during the past week. We served an awesome cake with the cover of Issue 16 on it, cupcakes, chips, and plenty of soda for them. We also made autograph cards with sections for Austin and Bizzle to sign. Each teen had then was able to meet Bizzle and Austin and receive an autograph. Perhaps the most exciting part of the party was after the autographs were done there was a huge group of kids crowded around Austin and Bizzle. We thought for sure they’d be asking advice on how to make it in the music industry, but when we walked over we heard Bizzle sharing the story of Joseph from the Bible and explaining how people in the Bible were no different than them and how they can use stories like Joseph’s to help them stay on the right path and continue to trust God. How cool is that!? They also prayed with many of the youth one on one. It was beautiful.
We plan on having a release party in a facility each quarter after we release each issue of FRUIT. Magazine. After our first one was such a success, we can’t wait to tell you about the next one!