For those of you living outside Charlotte, we've had an eventful week leading up to this weekend. On Tuesday we experienced the rumblings and tremors from the 5.9 earthquake in Virginia and by Saturday were threatened by Hurricane Irene. In addition, late Friday night a 24-foot sink hole opened up at the only entrance to our church property restricting all traffic down Park Rd., a major thoroughfare through the South Park area.
|Photo credit: Yoshi James|
|Photo credit: Yoshi James|
It does not seem coincidental that all that craziness would happen leading up to the Clayton King weekend at our church, a weekend Forest Hill has been planning and looking forward to for 9 months.
Clayton- pastor, speaker, writer, founder of Crossroads Worldwide, and much more is a great friend of Forest Hill and brother in Christ. I am so glad I had the opportunity to get to know him a bit more this weekend as he brought the truth of the Gospel of Jesus to so many people.
So Saturday night... we already had the drama of the sink hole, crazy traffic issues, and oh yeah, Clayton's dad had a heart attack just a few days prior to coming to Charlotte for the weekend. (Yes the insanity continues!) The Saturday night service was going great and half way through the message, a tree fell in our neighborhood and cut off all power in our facility.
But God was unhindered. In fact, I feel like his love, grace, and power was more vivid and bright from that dark auditorium than ever before. Without a pretty set, fancy lights, and any sound equipment, 102 people out of a 1000+ crowd decided to really, truly, surrender their life and trust in Jesus. The service was immediately followed by outdoor baptisms, many of who just accepted Jesus and literally were baptized in what they wore to church that night.
It was amazing!
Because I am on staff with the children's ministry and frequently teach children during the services times, I rarely get to be in the main sanctuary. After teaching the preschoolers I snuck into the sanctuary and from the balcony quietly cried as I watched these 100+ people's lives change in such a dramatic way. I'm not really a public crier (ha!), but I was just so moved by what a massive moment this was for so many people - some people who had never heard the message of Jesus before and some who thought they believed, but realized they did not fully understand what it means to believe.
Words cannot express the specialness of last night even amidst sink holes and powerless buildings.
Today, another 650 people (say what?!!) decided to follow Jesus (and another 104 between our two other campuses) and I have no idea how many of those were baptized, but I saw a ton of people in sopping wet jeans and dress shirts. :)
If I can do math right, that's 757 people. 757 people in the city of Charlotte who have not only recognized Jesus as God's son who came to die for all our sin, but who surrendered their life to him and claim his as Lord.
Lord, we are so humbled to be apart of such a huge movement of your spirit in the lives of so many. 5 people would have been amazing, but 757?! I am overwhelmed by this and so excited for these people who have heard the Good News of Jesus and have come to faith.
For all you out there reading this who did not get to hear Clayton's message or who have no idea what I am talking about, please please please make time to watch it here on our church website. (For those unfamiliar with FHC, please pardon our website! A new one is launching next month!)
Anyways, we are so jazzed so see what it ahead for our rapidly expanding church and family in Christ. God is doing great things! Boo yow!