I'm exhausted and should be headed to bed, but my heart was just so full from the day that I had to share it.
Passionfest today was an amazing experience for me. First of all, it was good for me in the sense that it stretched me in ways that kicked me out of my comfort zone. When we checked in to volunteer (Kate and I both volunteered; side note - I was so proud of my 11-year old who spent almost the entire day volunteering running kids games) the first order was to hand out flyers with the schedule for the day. Just walk up to people and talk to them. TOTALLY not me. But it was so good for me to do something stretching. Then we gathered in the prayer tent for the briefing of what the plan was for us prayer counselors; after the skateboard/BMX guys gave their testimonies, the message and 'altar call' - the altar being a skateboard platform complete with ramps - we were to go find someone and pray with them and take down their info so they could be connected with a local church. We also put our names and church down on the card because the idea is to connect these people to a place with a familiar face - the person that prayed w/them today. I got to pray with a scared but hungry 6-year old boy named Ryan who came up because he wanted to give his life to Jesus. We prayed that God would give him the strength to follow him every day and to live a life always sold out to Jesus. We prayed he would learn to hear God's voice and always obey. It was precious. Ryan was there with his dad and brother...as were many that I saw come front today. What a better way to connect dads and sons than have a Skateboard/BMX/Motor X event and then present the gospel. From what I saw today entire households believed. I saw multiple dads with little guys come front to receive God's gift of salvation. Ring any bells??
"He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers..." Malachi 4:6
Another thing that was quickened to my heart is the absolute desire of God's heart to see unity among churches. Today no one debated doctrine, frowned upon worship styles, or questioned policies. Today we stood in a field and prayed for salvation to come to our town; for individuals to be set free from sin and find freedom in Christ. Today it was a common mission and a spirit of unity.
It was particularly cool for me on a personal level. We have some great friends who we used to get to spend more time with when we were all about 20-21 years old. As two young married couples we would sit around til 1 or 2 in the morning (several times a week!!) playing 'Dutch Blitz' and talking about what God wanted us to do with our lives. We felt like He was calling us all to ministry, but were unsure what it would look like or when. We often said we felt like we'd do something together - at the time we thought it would be running a Christian bookstore. The guys did a short stint as a band called 'Vyne' (us wives were the groupies), but ultimately that was NOT our calling. Today, almost 15 years later, Scott is an associate pastor of a church about 15 minutes away from ours. We've gotten to know many of the same people. Today Scott was also a volunteer prayer counselor. Tonight as I thought how cool it was that we were there together today, God quickened to my heart that we are, indeed, in ministry together. Different churches, different network (aka 'denomination'), same goal. To see people come to know God. We are laborers in the same field. Gives me goose-bumps.
And that was just the afternoon!! The evening is another whole story, but alas, it must wait til tomorrow as my eyes are growing heavy, and we must be at the church by 9 a.m. to set up to lead worship. Then ladies group at noon, and our church in the evening. I'll probably be teeming again by tomorrow night. It may take days for me to get all this out.
God is amazing. Good night.