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LIFE AS A MIDDLE MANN

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LIFE 2007

Wow...words cannot describe what a privilege it was to be a part of what God did in an through 7,500 high school students this past week in Orlando, Florida. There is just something special about this group and this gathering that is the reason behind where I'm at today and embodies so much of what I hope and dream for in regards to our students. I had three great guys (David and Don Cheney and Bryce Harding) in my room that were family for the week and I felt that we were able to be gut-level honest and have a blast doing it. We had a midnight snack run each night and spentt more than a few good and not-so-good meals together. One of my personal highlights was the incredibly significant missions focus this year's LIFE had...to a degree that I had never experienced before. In fact, a whole evening was devoted to raising awareness about what IS going on and what's NOT going on in East Africa, it was called Project 132 and was hosted by the guy I interned under, Erik Williams and he knocked it out of the park. (As did Brennan Manning even though he did sound slightly drunk at times but trust me, he wasn't, as did Bradley Hathaway, google him) The offering for the week, which had topped out in previous years at $50,000 came in at $114,000. A staggering amount for teenagers who are considered the most selfish generation in American history. Our group even gave above the avg person's at almost $20 a person. Wow...one person gave $90!!! A spirit of generosity and compassion was heavy and I LOVED every minute of it. This all culminated on Saturday morning with a mission's focused main session with Todd Adams speaking and more than a hundred missionaries and missionary kids parading with their flags and banners for all the countries the Alliance is active in. The Holy Spirit nailed me and I absolutely lost it. I've had strong head reactions to the tragedy of almost 2 billion people having never heard the gospel and to be fair I've had heart reactions but never to this degree before, I couldn't even explain what was going on but I couldn't stop losing it. I was crying and crying and crying, it struck a deeper chord, both my admiration for these heroes, the excitement about the abudant work taking place in the world, and the desire to see MORE flags represented because they're not all there. We know that this world won't end and the next won't begin until, as Jesus promised, there is life, redemption, and part of the bridge from every single community on the planet. We've got to do more. You can get to any place in the world in 24 hours and yet in 2,000 years there is still a third of the world that has never heard. Do you hear their scream? Their plea? Their please? How would you feel if after 2,000 years since the only hope for the world had became flesh you still had no way of experiencing life, light, love, hope and forgiveness?The call to ministry yielded more than 1,700 students who in some way wanted to make a difference and reach these people. Wow...amen. Be encouraged world...we're on our way! Also what a treat to experience life with my WIFE...we were both at the LIFE 98 conference in Salt Lake City, even in the same hotel, yet we did not meet for six more years. We both felt called into ministry there and to be serving in ministry now and head back togethere was a special memory and treat I'll cherish for a long time. See ya in 2010 in Louisville!

  1. Blogger folkestad | 12:46 PM |  

    Hey man! It was good to stop and say hi to you at LIFE. Sorry we were not able to talk longer. I'd love to catch up with you sometime!
    LIFE was amazing. I enjoyed your comments about the missions focus! IT WAS AMAZING to be a part of. It was a great night that reminded me of why I am proud to be back in this denomination, and called to go do more!
    Have a great time on the other side of the world!
    C. Folkestad

  2. Blogger erik w/a "k" | 3:19 PM |  

    Unbelievable experience!

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