Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Adventures of the Fair [and my thoughts that go with it]

The Yates County Fair.
It makes me smile.
Not the Fair particularly, but rather the events that go with it.
As you amble through the crowds, mixed aromas flood the air.
Smoke and sweat mingle in the heat of the day.
Popcorn. Funnel cakes. Fried oreos. [Which, btw, are good. Don't be judgemental]
Balloons bob above the crowd, several flying HIGH through the clouds.
The whirl and spin of the various rides; the way your stomach twists and your head aches.
[From too many fierce rides, of course.]
And as the darkness falls...
The spinning lights, the voices blaring through the mega-phones.
The sounds and voices mingling, causing confusion.
Creating an emotional rush [otherwise known as a massive oil spill. jk. rather like mass chaos]
Many beats fill the air, filling you with the explosive urge to dance a jig
[Mine apparently exploded quite often. teehee.]
*and i interrupt this show to bring you some faaabulous news!*
Alright. That's all. Back to the story.
All this is what i think of when i think of a fair.
Colorful wrist bands.
Caramel apples. Taffy. Cotton candy.
Too much food.
Not enough money. :)
Well. That's pretty much always. :P
Rough carnie [carnival] workers.
The ever famous "Fair Restroom".
Otherwise known as the place with not enough.
Not enough water to flush. Not enough TP. [or apparently. cause they're always out]
Not enough paper towels. Too many ladies for NOT ENOUGH stalls.
yeah. so all this makes me think of what a fair is like.
Or at least what the Yates County Fair is like.
But what about a ministry field?
How about a place with people, lost in this big, lonely world, confused and hurt and alone, waiting for a Savior; for someone to bring them hope?
Have you ever thought of a fair as something like that?
A place to minister.
That's how our local churches and pastors saw the fair.
And that's precisely how the CIA was formed.
Through people who are dedicated and willing to help our community change.
To give them hope.
To show them Jesus.
We are the CIA and yes. We're with the government. :D
Ok. So that was a lie.
CIA really [in real life] stands for: Churches In Action
So it's what we do.
This year, the volunteer work consisted of:
Handing out popcorn and snowcones
[if you weren't there you missed out on that fabulous ice with flavoring squirted all over the top]
Not gonna lie.
They're prolly my fave. :P
Oh yeah. Back to what we did.
...Handing out popcorn and snowcones.
Taking water to the carnival workers.
Parking cars and taking money at the gate.
Picking up trash.
So after doing this for several years, the fair board reported to CIA that they love the work they're doing there, they want them to come back. They said the fair hasn't run this smooth in years. Literally.
So they welcomed us back. Giving our group more responsibility and very open to what we have to offer.
INCLUDING. Getting the CIA to get together a few MAIN STAGE events.
So after a lot of research, and brains, and preparation [by preparation i mean prayer. like. a lot of it]
We got Denver & the Mile High Orchestra and The Power Team lined up to perform at our fair.
Crazy? I know.
So Denver had a main stage event
and The Power Team showed twice a day all week long in the CIA tent.
The Victory Singers from Freedom Village also performed a fairly main stage event.
The Martin Family Singers performed twice in the CIA tent as well.
All this to say,
This week at the Yates County Fair nearly 200 people made commitments to Christ...
Is that NOT EXCITING or what?!
...and so many more seeds were planted.
Each of the shows made a big impression upon me
but being involved with, and witnessing the Power Team break bricks and boards with their heads, elbows, and arms, seeing them break bats over their heads, shins, and knees, watching them blow 10 year guaranteed hot water bottles with air until they explode, seeing them break out of hand cuffs, bend steal bars and lift flaming telephone poles above their heads, and hearing their incredible testimonies and real life stories was quite the highlight. :) They presented the Gospel in a clear-cut, real life, simple way.
And many received it. Praise God!

As I sat and watched one night as the Power Team began to present the Gospel,
3 guys who were seated in front of me were brought to my attention
They seemed like a rough and burly bunch.
Tattoos splattered across their arms.
Chains dangling from their belt loops.
But as i sat there, i was impressed so strongly with their need for Jesus.
For hope.
And purpose in life.
So i began to pray.
Pray that God would work in their hearts.
Pray that God would soften their hearts to receive what He has for them.
And as i watched Jamie Morrison, vice president of the Power Team, ask every head to bow and every eye to close.
And i heard him ask for everyone who would like to be sure that their going to Heaven to raise their hand and repeat after his prayer, i raised my head for a short moment and all three of the young men had their hands raised.
It nearly brought tears to my eyes.
[and let me tell you. I'm not the weapy type, but to see something as exciting as not one, not two, but three such lives committed to Christ...whoa. It gives me the God-bumps. :D]
Then when Jamie asked each person who repeated the prayer or should have to come stand up front, I held my breath and waited.
I thought for a moment perhaps i had only imagined their hands up.
For they weren't standing and walking boldy to the front like so many others were doing.
They simply sat there, joking with each other like nothing happened.
It broke my heart.
It sincerely broke my heart to see people wanting to know that they're going to Heaven, but not willing to give up their old life styles.
Not willing to profess Jesus.
Only willing to raise their hand.
Cause raising your hand doesn't cost you anything does it?
Not when every head is bowed, every eye closed.
No one would see it anyway.
What's the difference?
They may have just as well have simply given God a wave.
Said, "Why hello there. Yes I'd love to know that I'm going to Heaven. Could you just write my name down right there. Yeah. The name's ____________" *now i'll just continue with my life. no harm done and i'm headed up the straight and narrow*
Sorry son, that ain't how it works.
I was deeply disappointed, I really was.
Not that i was taking it personally,
but i think it was one of those moments where God reached down,
and broke my heart for what broke His.
And I want to be open to that.
To be open for Him to give me a heart as beautiful as His.
To break my heart for what breaks His.
To have compassion to the sick and needy,
and to see His kingdom come.

Well. It's late. And as a general rule, I don't write when it's late.
So, that was a lie, but my sentences usually get pretty jumbled and confused when it's late.
And then everything's more dramatic then in real life.
Although all that i just said WAS true.
And genuine.
But I'm afraid if i keep going, one of two things would happen.
#1. Nothing I say would be legit.
#2. My head would crash against the keyboard as my weary eyes drifted shut. THAT'D be a massive oil spill.

sooo. that's all.
and I'm out.



Anonymous said...

Aw Lins...thank for sharing! Sounds like a great ministry opportunity! Was Pen's church involved, too? Yes, I've been praying for God to put on my heart the things that are on His.
Love ya!

kaylie said...

The part about the Fair made me smile and wish that I could've gone!! :) it sounds like you guys did an amazing thing! You are such an amazing writer, my friend, you have a way with words that so many people don't have! use it to glorify God!!
Lovee you Lins