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Four-day Joshua Revolution to end with public expressions of faith

Patty Tung will stand in the wintry mist this noontime at Prospect Point and reaffirm her faith in Jesus as her personal savior in a deeply religious ceremony ending a four-day spiritual conference of the Niagara Falls-based Joshua Revolution.

Tung, a youth leader at a church in suburban Toronto, will be joined by several hundred others who will make a public expression of their faith, including some of whom will become "born again."

Participants will begin a prayer walk called "Follow Me" at noon today in the Conference Center on Old Falls Street and will go to the brink of the Horseshoe Falls for the closing ceremony in the nondenominational youth ministry of the Joshua Revolution.

Tung is just one of many youth group leaders of congregations throughout the Northeast and nearby Canada who are challenging young people to turn away from sin and toward the message of the Joshua Revolution.

The mother of four, including three teenagers, brought 36 people from her area to this week's conference.

"We are teaching them to live a life that is pleasing to God," Tung said.

The Joshua Revolution was started in 1993 "as a way for churches to come together and bring young people into a closer relationship with Jesus," said its founder and director, the Rev. Michael Chorey of Grand Island. Chorey is pastor of CrossRiver Church on Third Street.

Joshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus, and a revolution is "a sudden and radical change," Chorey said, so Joshua Revolution is a fitting name for the movement.

"The Joshua Revolution is a Bible-based worship that believes in life after death," he said. "The commitment of our lives continues forever."

The Joshua Revolution is aimed mostly at students of high school or junior high school ages.

"We encourage young people to repent for their sins and surrender their lives to God; Jesus will change their lives," Chorey said.

He began his ministry after he had a "life-changing experience" at a similar conference in 1983 in Kansas City.

"I learned that God put me on earth to do this," he said. "God is real, and he is personal. We teach victory over temptations and turning failure into success, certain that God extends his mercy upon us."

The current conference includes a series of motivational speakers and "power sessions" that are similar to worship services and often include an "altar call" at which participants are encouraged to come forward and dedicate their lives to Jesus.

Among the more than 1,500 people attending the conference, 481 of them "came forward to give their lives to Christ" at its first "power session" on Monday, officials said.

e-mail: rbaldwin@buffnews.com

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