Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday Night

The temperature dropped about 25 degrees on Friday and it rained all day. This seemed to affect the Pentecostals, because the booths were empty Friday afternoon - not many shoppers! When the Media Missions Service started at 6:15 pm, there were maybe 300 people scattered throughout the coliseum. Don't think I ever remember such a small crowd for any service. But they rolled on as if the Coliseum were full. Media Missions did a live broadcast that aired on their "There is Hope" program on XM radio. The Heavenview Singers from Heavenview UPC, Winston-Salem sang "Hear Us From Heaven" followed by a short sermon from Bro. Danny Hood. (Kudos to Tiffany Countaway, producer of the extremely organized broadcast!)

Tupelo Children's Mansion followed with a 15 minute promotion -- a very moving video of some of the children from the Mansion. TCM interviewed two of the original children to the mansion, and you couldn't help but be moved to tears as they told how TCM gave them a chance in life and loved them when no one else would. Bro. Steve Judd and his staff run a top notch home for children, and you can't help but want to empty your pockets for them.

The Home Missions service started at 7 pm, and again, the coliseum was not full. By the time the service ended, there were still about 4 sections in the back that were not full. The theme of their service was "This is North America". They began with different people coming out on the platform and quoting Acts 2:38 in every language you could imagine. Then they played a short video clip of people from around the USA quoting Acts 2:38 - must have been at least 50 languages. Cortt Chavis, pastor's son from Spring Lake, NC, is a Native American Indian, and he led the worship service. Fantastic worship leader. A Filipino choir from California sang. Brother Carlton Coon emphasized throughout the service that This is North America now. It's no longer a English speaking only country - there are people from around the world that live in the US, and they need Jesus. He introduced a pastor from Indiana who had a burden to reach more than the white Americans in his community. He first won many Burmese people, then a large group of Hispanics, and it's expanded from there. Then he introduced Bro. Staten from DC Metro. As he came to the platform, he brought some of his saints to the platform with him. A little Hispanic man came up with them and he was jumping up and down, very loudly shouting and praising God. Bro. Staten explained that he had just received the Holy Ghost at conference on Thursday night. This man, Juan, came to his church after his sister was murdered. They prayed for him, he was delivered from drugs and then just received the Holy Ghost this week. He continued to jump and praise God throughout Bro. Staten's presentation. Bro. Staten is growing a great church with very unique outreach efforts. He's even won a member of the Black Panther gang, who told him he couldn't believe a white man could love him or even want to talk to him.

The sermon was a play written by Tom Trimble. He goes to a hotel to pick up a visiting minister to take him to lunch. He greets the girl at the front desk and fumbles her name - she let him know that he always got it wrong - for the 3 years she had worked there. They go to his favorite restaurant, get his favorite waiter, and he gets his favorite waiter's name wrong. He brags to his minister friend how Ricardo/Roberto is the best waiter, etc. While they're there, Roberto had a heart attack and died. The minister goes to the funeral home and finds that the hotel desk clerk was married to the waiter and they lived right by his church. He had never witnessed to them, never invited them to church and he saw both of them on a regular basis. There was more to the play that I won't get into, but it was very moving and the entire congregation was weeping. It was a wake up call to all of us that we see the same people every day and never even consider that they need God. Fantastic service!

I need to run. More this afternoon.

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