So much has happened over the last few days that it has been difficult to keep track. A month or so ago I viewed the summer break as a time to catch up on some of the things that have been left undone, actually it has been a very busy time.
Soul Survivor was a great experience for the group, there was a lovely spirit among them and I think everyone who attended will have benefitted greatly. Jackie and I took on the role of cooks, or rather, Jackie was the cook and I was the cook’s assistant, but to be fair, everyone took turns in washing up.
The main meetings were really good. They began for us almost an hour before the start time with some going to the big top to save some ‘space’. Then as those with other responsibilities and those with a commitment to sleep arrived, the group could be spotted due largely to their bright blue hoodies. The meetings were cramped and sometimes hot, as there were twelve thousand people in the marquee and with no chairs allowed, everyone sat on the floor (my back has still not quite recovered).
The greatest blessing was of course seeing so many young people go forward to give their lives to Christ. It was incredibly moving to see teenagers standing up in front of their peers and walking to the front to a make a commitment. I watched a group near us that consisted largely of girls in their early teens dressed in the same colour hoodies, dissolve into floods of tears as two of their number went forward. During the five days, seven hundred young people made a commitment. It is exciting to think of what the Lord will do with so much potential.
Although our group were already Christians, they did not miss out on being blessed. On the last night, Mike Pilavachi asked if anyone needed prayer for the situation that they were going to face at home. Two of our group, one girl and one guy, stood up. I was sat towards the back of the group and began to feel anxious because there was a need for people to stand with them and pray for them. I didn’t want to interfere, I was there to be the cook’s assistant after all. As I watched, the whole group stood up, the girls went over and started praying for the girl and the guys went and did the same for the guy. I looked at Jackie and she was in tears as well as me.
I’m reminded of the MasterCard Adverts like the one showing a woman getting ready to go out. As she is getting ready and then finally going out, the voice says; designer dress – so much, lipstick – so much, designer bag – so much, the look on your ex-boyfriend’s face – priceless. It was part of a worldwide advertising campaign which carried the tag line; ‘There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s MasterCard’.
There are costs to the things that we do in the life of the church and Soul Survivor is no exception. The cost of time, poor showers and the previously mentioned bad back, the financial cost of a minibus and food etc but seeing young people growing in Christ – priceless.