Before you read this, you might want to click here first for some background. I left off with the question, "What will God do?"
But here's the quick recap in case you failed to click there:
It's pouring rain all day yesterday, all night, and the forecast is not looking good- Rain all day.
I read John 6, with Jesus' words resonating in my soul, "Well, Mark, what are we going to do?"
Stan and I prayer walk the courtyard at 9:00 AM (in the rain) and Stan concurs that the rain is not a problem, but an opportunity for God to show up in a special way.
The rain is off and on all day, and it's spitting rain until 6:40, when Jesse starts the opening song of worship.
The rain totally stops.
Not a single drop for the rest of the night.
College students poured onto the lawn from all directions. My guess is that there were anywhere from 800-1,000 students packed onto the Old RCA Courtyard.
Here are some pics...
This was Jesse during rehearsal (6:10) getting rained on.
This is right after... Our student leaders, all 140 of them, went to town waving their white signs in the air in an attempt to get students to join their connection groups.
The mass of people was organized by having six huge signs with living areas, so students could sign up for connection groups near them. Here is Kevin posing by a couple of those signs.
Mark D doing his best to recruit to his connection group.
Gabe is competing nearby...
We have about 1,000 students that we're trying to get connected and about 100 groups, so doing the math, well, pray for our leaders... Steffi had over 30 girls wanting to get into her group in Linden!
This was about an hour after TSC ended. There were still a TON of people just hanging out talking.
This was almost 2 hours after ending, and still people were hanging out talking in the dark!
These are the true heroes of the night... the guys who got there at 1:00 to set up the stage and finished tearing down and unloading back at Cornerstone at 10 pm. Bless you, servants.
Moreover, the guy on the left is a transfer student who had just experienced his first TSC. He's off to a good start!
I wish I had more adequate words to describe how clearly and powerfully God showed up on our behalf.
In summary: I've never regretted putting myself in a position where my plans were doomed to failure if God didn't supernaturally show up.
Moreover, I wish I could go on and on about the students I personally interacted with. Maybe I just will...
Two girls who wandered in
One freshman guy who wandered in and this was the first fellowship he's had since arriving
A sorority girl who showed up because she was invited by a friend
Two Chinese guys who gladly told me they were not Christians, but were studying the Bible to learn how to know Jesus.
A freshman I had prayed for this summer who showed up out of nowhere
A prodigal sophomore who just decided to start living for Jesus again. He desperately wants out of the partying scene but doesn't know how to get out of his living situation
Five guys from the same frat who are eager to see God bring their house to Christ
Another guy who wants to start living an authentic life, "Mark, I want to walk with God, can we meet weekly?"
Two female athletes
A guy who just became a Christian last year and is weeping over his lost dad.
A sophomore who prayed for his roommate for the entire last year and he came for the first time tonight (not grudgingly)
A couple who just got engaged
A guy who just got a date (you think junior high is full of drama...just wait 'til marriage and your life destiny is on the line!)
I made it through the night with only 2 blunders....
1. I announced to the crowd that I took my 4 year old for a leak behind a nearby bush during worship (c'mon...it was his pants or the bush. I opted for fertilizing the bush)
2. I ended my talk by saying, "Can I get an 'Amen!'" GASP...I could've shot myself. Where did that cheezy "I'm a southern preacher wannabe" hype come from? Just a simple "Amen!" is fine, but I don't think I've ever said that phrase in its entirety before. Unless mocking someone. What was I thinking? I still can't believe it.
Forget the fact that God held off the rain and brought 1,000 college students to worship, hear about Jesus and get connected with His people...
He even showed up in the midst of my trite rhetoric.
Soli Deo Gloria.