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Awaken: an EC worship night

By Tehillah Mwenya

Ruby La Bianca plays piano and Tehillah Mwenya sings into the microphone (2021) pc: Kenya Thomas

Gabbi Angelucci had high expectations; Ruby La Bianca had no expectations. Gabbi was nervous to the point of fixing her message minutes before she left the house. Ruby was ready to see how God was going to move. God was telling Gabbi that her feelings of anxiety, low self esteem, etc. were exactly what the student body was feeling. God was telling Ruby that she needed to listen for his voice, and not just in the time she “carved out” for Him. Both girls showed up at the front lawn of Eastern Christian High School on Friday, October 8 on completely opposite sides of the emotional spectrum united in the fact that they both knew God was going to be there that night.

A phone call made between Tehillah and Ruby on Friday, September 10th was what set fire to the blaze that would be October 8th’s worship night. “Well, I think it was on both mine and Tehillah’s hearts separately and then once Tehillah was like ‘so I’ve been having this feeling,’ I was like ‘I had the same feeling in my heart that I wanted to do this’ and then immediately we were both like puzzle pieces clicking, magnets connecting. We were like let’s go and then we just kind of went from there,” Ruby, one of the worship leaders that night spoke on it’s early stages. “I think we planned it all entirely in one night, we just wrote out a bunch of songs and... it just kind of exploded.”

An email was sent out to Ms. Johnson and Mr. Bailey and the Monday thereafter, September 13, a meeting was set up. Preparations were made, speakers were chosen, and God was moving. Sydney Heinold was one of the speakers and Gabbi was the other. As the date drew near, Gabbi began to become restless, “I was nervous and I really didn’t know if people were going to come or not because you know people said they were but I wasn’t sure. I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life and I wanted to have an impact on someone. The message I was saying I really wanted to get to people’s hearts.” Gabbi’s impact was evident as her message left many students in tears.

When asked about her mental state leading up to the worship night, Ruby said, “There was definitely a lot of spiritual attack and I didn’t really check why. Once it kind of clicked that God has a job he wants me to do and it just kind of got so much harder to do. I realized that this is not what it seems to be, this is more, this is deeper, this is spiritual. And so then, I kind of took my thought life into account. When I thought of something self deprecating or hopeless thinking, I was like hold up. I kind of grabbed myself by the shoulders and was kind of like you have a job to do, this is not about you, this not about the world, this is about God. Then, the day before, me and Tehillah both fasted. We both were like dying. It was just a lot of me realizing that spiritual battles were very real and after the worship night I was kind of like that is why Satan was so scared.”

Both girls came with different perspectives and experiences yet they were united under the fact that their hearts had been burning for what God was going to do that night. “I knew that God was gonna be there, I knew that he was gonna move. I was trying not to have any expectations,” said Ruby. She decided to turn it over to the Lord in prayer, “whatever you want [God], if it’s two people and none of them cry and none of them are touched then it’s probably gonna touch someone in a way we can’t see.”

There were several impactful moments throughout the night. “People were willing to show up. They were willing to be open about their faith and that they weren’t afraid to accept him, or sing, or just be with each other. They were all in community together and they weren't shy about it. Just the love that everybody showed towards each other,” was Gabbi’s favorite part.

“At one point after the worship night, we went to the fire and then they came back and then just completely organized by themselves a bunch of students just gathered around in a huge circle and just started praying over each other. Singing, worshiping together, and praying over each other completely by themselves and it was just such a cool moment to be like the spirit is not confined by song,” stuck out most to Ruby.

Better yet, the worship night has been a catalyst for several people. Not only were the students in the congregation blessed, but so were the speakers and the worship leaders. Gabbi said, “I feel like I’m definitely being called into new positions of leadership at our school and I felt like the words I say weren’t mine, they were God’s. I was happy that through me he was able to touch people, and spiritually it was nice to know that God sees me.”



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