the time flies. and its been a whirlwind already. i wanted to offer a little recap of my final two days in the facility. my biggest hurddle was the fact that i couldn’t take my camera in. but a friend did help me at least grab a couple of images that i could share. this first picture is of our table family name. each table takes a name from the fruits of the Spirit and makes a little piece of artwork to put on the tree. we sat at the table of faithfulness. it was a blessing beyond the word. faithfulness is a word that God has spoken to me in severa other contexts, so my heart was greatly encouraged when it was chosen for us.
one major compenent on the second day is a birthday party that is held in honor of each star. my rose blessed the boys with home baked funfetti cake. for many of the stars that attend a epiphany weekend, celebration of their day of birth is a first. many of them have no recent memory of any kind of celebration. so on an epiphany weekend the stops are pulled out and it is a party of all parties. the main purpose is to show the boys that the God of the universe knit them together and called them forth. they may have heard things like…you were a accident…no one wants you…but there is no doubt after some great words from God’s story that they know for certain that there is purpose in the lives. of course it doesn’t hurt as we announce the party in their honor that we crank some great songs like CELEBRATE and even the electric slide. each table family has a cake and the boys names are spelled out in icing. on this weekend it was truly icing on the cake of where God has been taking us. all the boys were so grateful and when my guys learned that rose baked the cakes they were excited all the more.
the weekend really was a huge success on so many fronts. those in charge at the facility shared that they thought it was the best one yet. having personally served on a dozen teams of this sort, this weekend had a profound effect on me. it was clear that deep life change was begun and you could sense the energy with each passing hour. here’s a picture of the prayer chain that i mentioned in an earlier post. it just goes beyond imagination what the prayers of 1,688 folks can do to move these young men along. probably the most moving time was the presentation of agape letters written to each boy. several at our table were afraid to open them. they were afraid to show their emotion. they were afraid of what the emotion might do. but with encouragement each boy pushed through it. and the tears flowed into great smiles. a huge encouragement to living life to the full. one huge aspect of the weekend was the quality of the music. there was a young man, jeremy sharp whose heart was so in tune with the Holy Spirit that he easily led us all. from the very first song we sang…phar-oh, phar-oh the accelerator was hammered down and it just got better each time we sang. so yeah, we crashed the gates of hell…and these young men of mojcf epiphany#5 and the team need your continued prayers. pray that we all would be faithful in the next steps. one final blessing beyond the weekend was jeremy heading back to the outpost to lead worship for my students. it was a very special time. you can check out the clip and pictures on the.evolution blog