Friday, July 04, 2008

Friday

Of course, Friday morning was pretty wet. But I still managed to wake up early and get a hot shower again. Another amazing blessing. This time, however, I came back to the campsite and lounged in my tent until the activitiy in the children's tent became my cue to go wandering some more.
Today I decided that I needed to find a hat or a bandana for my head since I had already toasted my partially shaved skull yesterday. I didn't want it getting any worse. So I picked one up at a booth for a ministry oriented clothing booth called Thorn Clothing. I opted for the white bandana with black print instead of the black with white print, which would have just soaked up more heat - and nobody wants that. You'll see pics of me wearing it later on.
Today was going to be mine and Bob's day of glory. We knew that the Fringe Stage was scheduled to start things off at 11:00 and we were going to be in the thick of the mosh pit from Go. And there were some pretty good bands set to appear.
First up was a band called Worth Dying For. Very cool. They're an alternative worship band. For their amazing hardcore sound there was a real sense of spirituality and worship to their songs. And we could mosh to it!
Allow me to say this right now; the mosh pit was incredible! I had so much fun with all of the kids that were bangin' around in there. And they all had fun with me. There were plenty of one-on-ones and a lot of the kids wanted to go head-to-head with me just because I was the "big guy". There were quite a few girls jumping into the pit and we even had a few little kids (7 - 9 years old) that were jumping in. At that point Jessie (whom I mentioned with yesterday's post) actually came into the pit to make sure none of them got hurt by those of us larger folk. So I worked my way to that side of the pit in case she needed a hand. After all, I was the "responsible adult" in this crowd (Yeah, right!) and it never hurts to be standing near a pretty girl.

OK, they were twins! I couldn't really tell them apart at first, so I didn't really know which one I had the crush on. Of course, the fact that Jessie doesn't spike her hair into a mohawk might have given me a clue...

Anyways, a lot of these kids had been hangin' out with me and Bob during the Flyleaf and Skillet shows. Then as each band ended their set most of the kids would come up to me to tell me "Dude! You so rock!" or "Dude! You're awesome!". It was even to the point where Bob was pointing to me and telling everybody "Yeah, that's my dad. He's pretty cool isn't he?" can you get a better compliment from your teenaged son?
After Worth Dying For came Run Kid Run. This is another band that I've seen live before and I do like their sound. It was a good show, but after their set we needed to take a break. Besides, Compassion was having a dinner for those of us who volunteered for the festival.
All of us gathered around at the Compassion Campsite and had pizza. It was great getting to see everybody there and start to get to know some of the others that were a part of this grand endeavor. I gotta hand it to the Event Coordinators and Area Coordinators who had everything running so smoothly. These people truly have the hearts of servants, and I am proud to be among them. But I'll share a little bit more about that later on.
As the dinner winded down and everybody started to spread out again to do their own thing, Bob and I went back to the Fringe Stage to catch the tail end of The Afters. They're a kinda pop-alternative band and the mosh just wasn't happening for me with these guys. But that was OK with me since the band that Bob and I really wanted to see today was up next. And the mosh would be magnificent with them.
Red had a great beginning to their set. Before the band hit the stage they played a sound byte from the movie The Boondock Saints, the courtroom speech came across the speakers and the crowd went wild. Red came out and the mosh pit exploded. Up to this point there had been maybe 20 or 30 kids in the pit most of the day. We were all getting to know each other because of it, too. But when Red hit the first hard chords of Break Me Down everything changed. I started at what I thought was going to be the edge of the mosh pit only to find myself smack dab in the middle of it. Which is not to say I didn't want to be there, but I wasn't expecting to be there so quickly. I think it took the security people by surprise, too. I say this because it became obvious early on that they were having a hard time keeping the surge from moving too far forward toward the stage whenever the crowd would press forward. That and the fact that after the show one of the guys running security wanted to talk to me.
His name was Don, and I had been talking to him in the mornings through my wanderings. We kinda got to know each other that way. He had also noticed me in the pit taking on guys half my age and not getting knocked down. So after this show he asked me if I'd be willing to help out with tomorrow's security. He just said "I could use a man of your size and talents.". I said "Sure". More on that later.
After this I headed back to the Compassion Camp because we were expecting a big rush tonight. The speaker for the evening, Bob Lenz wanted the Compassion volunteers to be available to pass out child packets at the end of his presentation. Bob Lenz has a real heart for the work that Compassion is doing, and he wanted to make the most of his efforts here. So we organized and spread out to wait until he finished his message. And it was a great message, it was all about going into the world to be Christ to those who need Him. It began with the story of his daughter, Joy, singing Joy to the World around Christmastime one year, and Bob's son Tim, being 5 at the time, hearing this thought his sister was singing about herself. So he chimed in with his own version; Tim to the World. And this stuck out to Bob as it is just what we ought to be doing. We ought to be putting ourselves out to the world. We ought to be singing that song with our own names in it. Then he spoke of Compassion and the plight of millions of children around the world living in poverty and encouraged the crowd to start sponsoring children as a means of sending themselves to the world.
I gave away at least 15 packets by myself. Then I headed to my booth to help with everyone who wanted to sponsor a child or just to ask questions about it. The rush lasted for quite awhile, and it was well worth it. It gave us such an amazing oportunity to talk to people and answer questions and get others excited about the ministry of Compassion. I was blown away by the response.
And just so you all know, Bob was doing his part with me at the Compassion booth, too. You see, scattered across the entire festival were countless young people with makeshift cardboard signs reading "Free Hugs", "Free Prayer", "Free this" "Free that", and standing right in front of our Compassion booth were two young ladies offering "Free Encouragement" to get up the steep little hill that lead to the art's tent and pavilion. One held a sign that said "Free Encouragement" while the other held one that said "You can make it up the hill". And Bob, being Bob always out to get a laugh, stood beside them with a little sign that said "No you can't." It was kinda funny, but I had to remind Bob that he was supposed to be working with me, and he needed to remember that Compassion had paid his way into this festival. So he came back to the booth and started work on a new sign. After a few moments he was back out on the hillside with a sign that read "Get Compassion". And it was kinda neat how people would stop and ask him what he meant with the sign, so he would tell them "Go talk to my dad over there about sponsoring a child through Compassion." It actually worked for a few people. They came over and asked me about Compassion and how to sponsor a child. Bob so rocks!
Then, just as you think it can't get any more intense, the rush slows down but we've already missed one of the concerts, because who can pay attention to the Main Stage when there are dozens of people clamoring to find a child to sponsor. It was great and it got better because there was a special guest slated to appear tonight for the candlelight service.
It turned out to be Amy Grant. And why shouldn't it be? She was the first performer to have a candlelight service at Creation. As the story goes, it was the first year that Creation was held at the site it currently takes place at, the Agape Farm in Mt. Union, PA. And as Amy was a few songs into her set the underground transformers blew and all the power at the festival went off. So, in an attempt to keep everyone from getting injured by trampling over one another in the dark, the volunteer staff for the festival began passing out candles for everyone to see by. The power was restored shortly thereafter, but the candles had created such an awe inspiring atmosphere that everybody decide that they should continue without the stage lights. So Amy Grant finished her set with only a lantern on stage. It's been a tradition ever since. And now you can see it for yourself.



This was truly an incredible ending to a fantastic night.

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