I want to tell you about a 17-year-old girl named Alycia whose life you’ve changed. She sent me the following text: “I’ve been to countless retreats, revivals, and conferences, but never before have I experienced such an impactful shift in perspective. The ARISE Intensive made God, the Bible, and the crucifixion feel like a new message when they had almost become banal. I thought I had a good understanding of the love of Christ, but this weekend was proof that our God is infinite, and our understanding is so limited—I learned so much!”

She wasn’t alone in her enthusiasm for the ARISE Intensive, which I’ve just come out of hours ago. There were others, but before I tell you about them, a brief introduction to the program may be helpful.

“Never before have I experienced such an impactful shift in perspective.”

ARISE is the discipleship school of Light Bearers. In it, we teach a curriculum called The Story, which consists of going through Scripture in seven chapters or modules: Pre-creation, Creation, Fall, Covenant, Messiah, Church, and Re-creation. We run the program in three forms:

  1. Each year, February through the beginning of May, we run the on-site ARISE course in Australia. Students from around the world come for sixteen weeks of fun, engaging teaching through the story of Scripture. They also take part in a community outreach program.
  2. The full course is available online as well, allowing anyone almost anywhere to move through it at their own pace, either alone or with a group.
  3. We also run ARISE Intensives. An ARISE Intensive is a weekend crash course in the story of Scripture.

What makes ARISE so transformative is that it leads students on a journey through the Bible, Genesis to Revelation, with an emphasis on the beauty of God’s character as manifested in Christ. It reaches into the heart though the mind. Ellen White describes the powerful results of teaching Scripture in this way:

“You should search the Bible; for it tells you of Jesus. As you read the Bible, you will see the matchless charms of Jesus. You will fall in love with the Man of Calvary, and at every step you can say to the world, ‘His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His paths are peace.’ You are to represent Christ to the world. You may show to the world that you have a hope big with immortality” (Life Sketches, p. 293).

This is exactly what you’ll witness with our students if you come to an ARISE event. When the Bible is taught in a way that magnifies “the matchless charms of Jesus,” people “fall in love” with Him. Through your support, we endeavor to teach people how to read the Bible in such a way that they don’t acquire mere information but also encounter the person of Christ with such beauty that they are changed by Him.

You could see transformation happening during the ARISE Intensive we held at Cohutta Springs Resort in Crandall, Georgia, October 14-16. The roughly 200 attendees ranged in age from teenagers to the elderly.

A woman shuffled up to me on her walker and said, smiling, “I’m 94 years old. No, wait, that’s not right. I’m only 92. I wish I would have heard these things a long time ago.”

A man in his thirties introduced himself by saying, “I’m a Baptist,” and then, “This is amazing. This is the first time I’ve ever understood the God of the Old Testament. Can I hug you?” He was affectionate because the good news of God’s love was flooding his heart. Minutes before that, a woman with eyes full of tears grabbed my hands and just looked into my eyes for a long minute, like some massive weight had been lifted from her soul. The real gospel sets people free.

There was a 14-year-old boy who sat at the front. During a break, I asked him, “You into this, or is it a bit much?”

“This is the first time I’ve ever understood the God of the Old Testament. Can I hug you?”

He flicked his long teenage bangs away from his eyes, “No, I love it so much. I’m learning sooooo much.”

I asked another young man, “How are you processing all of this? Do you find it boring?”

He didn’t miss a beat: “This is the most un-boring thing I’ve ever been to.”

Paola, a new believer who looked about 18, said passionately, “What I’ve learned here is that God is a subtle and amazing God. His love is just so amazing.” By “subtle” she meant that God is gentle in His way of accessing our hearts. She told me she really wants to attend the program in Australia and had already sent in her application.

Three young ladies—17-year-old Alycia (whom you’ve heard about), 16-year-old Genesis, and 14-year-old Kate—sat there, session after session, completely absorbed in the glory of the gospel. They jumped in my car for a ride back from our group lunch just so they could ask questions about Jesus and the Bible—intelligent questions that you only ask as the Holy Spirit moves deeply. I cannot adequately describe to you how gratifying it is to see teenagers come alive so enthusiastically to the things of God.

There are more teenagers like Alycia who can get excited about the gospel. There are more people who need to see God’s love in the Old Testament. There are more people who need to be freed from the weight they’ve carried. You can help make this transformation a reality.

In a very real way, it’s you that hugs each grateful ARISE Intensive attendee as they tell us they wish they understood these truths long ago. On behalf of Alycia and all the others, thank you for being a light bearer.

A person with short hair, wearing a black buttoned shirt, stands on a stage with a microphone headset. The background is blurred, featuring blue and white lights. The person appears to be speaking or giving a presentation.
Ty Gibson
Speaker/Director at Light Bearers

Ty is a speaker/director of Light Bearers. A passionate communicator with a message that opens minds and moves hearts, Ty teaches on a variety of topics, emphasizing God’s unfailing love as the central theme of the Bible. Ty and his wife Sue have three adult children and two grandsons.