This day is nearly halfway over. I am sitting at our computer desk and am sighing praises to God as I think about this weekend and the way that it unfolded. I think I gave you a general idea of what this past week looked like, but let me update you.
Love Extreme is the project we’ve been preping for in Arequipa to jump start the church planting that is going on here in the city. We want to flip this town and start a revolution for Christ. This Mega Event is the largest event that the Nazarene Church has put on in this city, ever. The goal was to get 10,000 people to the event. People were coming to speak such as Nick Vuijicik and Felix Vargas. Nick was born without arms and legs and Felix is an ex-cartel worker that left the drug industry and found Christ.
This past week was soaked with hard work. There were at least 10 different projects going on daily. We had 300 short-term workers come to the city to help with the event. We were doing promo events where Taxi drivers were given packets of fliers and whoever got the most people to come to the event won a laptop, we hung 30,000 signs across the city, some people were involved in construction projects in churches and some were sent out to future church sites and annoited the ground with oil. There were some days where we simply went out to the Plaza de Armas and passed out fliers. In total we passed out 96,000 fliers!
Yesterday was the big day. Garren and I were in charge of the Cuy mascot suits. (Don’t know what cuy are? Check it out) We just made up a schedule and posted it on the wall for the short-termers to refer to and helped Dennis and the rest of the staff with last minute details or emergancy errands. There were food courts, a children’s festival, medical clinics, informational desks, men’s and women’s conferences and the big events like Nick Vuijicik.
From the first few people that came in the gates I saw some young kids that I had met earlier that week at the Plaza when I had been passing out fliers. They were really excited to see me and they brought a video camera to document the day. They interviewed me… I don’t know how well that went. I thought it was so neat to see some of the people I had invited some to the event!
At 5pm Nick spoke. It was very powerful. I thought it was pivital how Nick’s story could relate to those in Peru. He has experienced an oppresion that not many people in this world can say they can relate with. It’s undeniable that the people of Peru are searching for something. There were hardly any people that would not take the fliers and every person who took one would read it front and back. They are under a heavy oppression and I think they could relate to Nick in a distant way. Nearly everyone at the event asked when Nick as going to speak.
When Nick spoke he gave the salavation message at the end. At the very end he gave the oppurtunity to say the sinners prayer. From where I was I could not hear the people in the crowd repeating the prayer with Nick and I was a little disappointed, but then at the end he asked those who prayed to stand up… I didn’t see that either. A few moments later he had people raise their hands who said the prayer and that’s when I saw them. About 3,000 people gave their life to Christ yesterday.
Later, when Brian Tibbs was taking Nick back the airport he asked Nick how he thought it went. He said that usually when he gives the salvation message and asks the people to stand to pray he gets about 10%-20% response. He said last night he got an 70% response from the people in the audience. I had noticed this also, but he has repeated how important and real this decision was to give one’s life over to Christ three times, because he wanted to make sure that the crowd has understood what he was saying! He was doubting the amount of people that stood! God is so good!
Today, we had a huge celebration. The church service was really long, but it was worth it. There is a team of people that are following up on those who dedicated their lives. I’m so excited for what God is doing. Now, I’m dead beat tired and have mustered all I could to get this post up. I hope you all had a wonderful father’s day!