John Gant, a Royal Ranger leader from Belmont, NY, who also happens to be my brother in law, ran up to me out of breath. “There’s a kid down by the council fire prophesying and proclaiming the word of the Lord. He is leading others to the Holy Spirit and laying hands on everyone down there, even the men!”
The evening service had ended, and some of the younger Rangers were tired and ready for their sleeping bags. Chris Poole and I had made our way back up to camp and got the evening campfire and smores ready. I always enjoy listening to the worship music and the sounds of men praying over boys wafting across the mountains.
As the boys were putting the finishing touches on the toasted marshmallows, John rushed into camp with his announcement.
“Really?” I asked. Curious because typically, the men are laying hands on the boys and leading them to the Holy Spirit.
“Who is it?”
“One of your kids,” John replied. “The one kid who was at the leadership camp.”
Well, that did not help a lot. I had several kids at the leadership camp that year, and I could not think of one that was that bold. It takes boldness to lay hands on spiritual men who may be experiencing the Holy Spirit themselves. It is easy to let someone else step up. To step out of a comfort zone when you are a 12 or 13-year-old boy can be a challenge in itself.
But that is the point. To see this young man – to talk to him and watch him, a person just sees a teenage boy being a teenage boy. Nothing is super extraordinary. Yes, he is respectful to others; yes, he is polite. He seems like a nice young man. There are a lot of nice, polite, respectful young men in the world.
John had shared camp for a week with him and did not even know his name. I doubt anyone who did not work directly with him did.
This spotlight profile will feature Andrew Nadler. Andrew currently serves as the Senior Patrol Leader at Outpost 292, Fellowship Wesleyan Church’s Royal Ranger Program.
In the past, Andrew has served as the Outpost’s Junior Chaplain and is currently enrolled in Junior Leadership Development Academy (JLDA). JDLA is a targeted five-year leadership training program designed to challenge the young man to tap into the gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon him while learning to use those gifts to lead others.
Andrew is a freshman at West Seneca West Senior High School, where he also plays drums in their award-winning marching band. He plans to try out for football in the spring if it is offered this year. Aside from the marching band, Andrew and his family are regular attenders at Life Church in West Seneca, where he also plays in the youth worship band.
John Perelli, one of Andrew’s long-time Royal Ranger leaders, summarised what many people have noticed about Andrew. Many people look at Andrew and see a typical everyday teen. Still, when you work with him, you notice something different and set apart. Mr. Perelli adds, “His spiritual gifts for leadership and witnessing are evident to anyone who looks closely.”
Andrew is still deciding upon his future plans, but whatever that includes, he will make the Lord his focus. When asked about a Bible verse that speaks to him personally, he was quick to reply Roman’s 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I started down the hill to see which one of my boys was experiencing the Holy Spirit and see if I could pray with him. Many people have questions and need some guidance when this happens. All of them want to tell others about their experience. As a Royal Ranger leader, my job is to guide the boys in recognizing and developing their gifts.
Suddenly, I did not have to wonder any longer. A young man ran up to me, and his face had that glow; the joy only one who has experienced Jesus personally and been filled with the Holy Spirit can have. He was both laughing and crying. Filled with emotion and not controlling how it came out.
Andrew did not speak in tongues that summer night. That experience took about a year. But, that was the night Andrew got to experience one of his gifts of the spirit. And others saw what was to come.
When you see Andrew Nadler at a spaghetti dinner or a car wash. Or even just being a kid around Fellowship Wesleyan, please remember the words of so many who know Andrew, “There is something special about that kid.”
Whatever path the Lord decides to lead Andrew on, our thoughts and prayers will be with this young man as we see him transform into a Man of God.
Want to be the first to know if an upcoming event at OP 292? If you haven’t signed up for calendar notifications from Outpost 292, now is the perfect time to do that. Just scroll to the bottom of this page, and when I update the calendar, you will get an automatic email. No more searching for those last flyers I keep sending home.
As always, thank you for the opportunity to work with your boys, and if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at any time.
Have a great Easter, and I hope to see you all in two weeks when we resume.
OP 292 Coordinator
Western Section Communications Coordinator