The following is an email sent by one of the trip leaders to a missionary friend describing our report on Sunday morning. Praise the Lord for what He continues to do in hearts and lives as a result of this trip to Thailand!
Absolutely, positively, humanly unfathomable. Our church has not
experienced 90 minutes like that since, since we shipped 50 guys
out to a Promise Keepers Convention in '96.
The sermon interspersed between 17 - 2 minute testimonies, was
titled "when cultures collide, spirits connect." We had slides and
movie clips running in the background behind each person. By
"coincidence" we even had Laura Percy home from Thailand participate
in the service, as well. Phil, who preached and moderated, did
impromptu interviews following some of the testimonies. After
watching video clips of the jungle service we sang the same songs
with the GLCC congregation. We had a cool "Creative Memories"
display table in the lobby with stuff we got from the village and
the cities, pictures. The edited DVD played in a loop on the
display table, as well.
We, I sat all the kids down, along with the lighting guy, the
sound guy, the PowerPoint guy, the musicians and told them absolutely
nothing we did with all the technical production, no matter how
cool, mattered one bit, zero, nodda, if the kids were going to read
hand written scripts for their testimonies. There would be NO
travel log this morning. If the testimonies were not delivered
from the heart we might as well go home. The content of the
testimonies had to be paramount and central. I explained that
my dozens of hours of work on the multimedia is only there to
enhance the Spirit's message being delivered through them. They
were given full authority to let it fly, say things that preachers
cannot. AND THEY DID. Hair got blown back all the way to the
sound booth. The kids even ditched the offering in lue of plates
at the exits. When we let the kids decide that, they knew we were
serious that the order of service was up to them. They set up
the stage with living room furniture and end tables. They had
a fireside, big screen chat.
I sat behind my son on a stool. He caught me snorting my tears
of exhuberence a couple of times during the service. Ben snapped
me out of it with a subtle yet firm, "Hey, Carl, Carl, what's up,
how ya doin'?"
I am converting the service video tapes into a single DVD. It is
amazing how it is impossible for a nonchristian video camera to
capture the presence of the Holy Spirit. The video tape just
does not cut it. It provides a taste at best. I will mail a
full trip movie DVD, (already complete), and a DVD of the service.
Hopefully you will see how your investiment paid off in eternal
One of the kids who surrounded himself with the wall of Jericho
spoke Sunday. Somewhere in Thailand is left a crumbled wall.
He did not mention it, but he has been out of communication with
his unforgiving grandfather since he was 8 or 10 years old.
The service was not even done and he was off the stage, in the
car and on his way to Grandpa's house. (Grandpa visited our
church for this service but left during closing comments).
Jeremy spent quite some time with Grandpa and applogized for
not following lawn mowing instructions 8 years ago. One thing
Jeremy learned in Thailand is that in missions there is no
instant response. "Christianity is a relationship, not a
lifestyle." Relationships take time. Jeremy was satisfied
with simply opening this lines of communication with Grandpa.
After church 60 members of the Vision team and their families
came to the cottage on the lake for the afternoon. What a
gala fest. (Last of the folks left at 9 - 10 pm) Folks did
not want the day to end. We basked in the the spirit and in the
SOOOOO, in answer to your question, "How Did It Go," I guess
it went OK.