When we began planning our Resurrection Day services a couple of months ago we asked our Bible School students and staff, "How should we celebrate Resurrection Day this year?" It was at that moment that we all came to the conclusion that the day we celebrate Jesus' resurrection couldn't be a better day to bring in people who need to hear about His sacrifice for us. We went out and spent money--a lot of money--on advertising, postcards, fliers, and prizes to bless our local community here in Elma, Washington.
The day dawned cloudy and rainy, as only a true, spring Washington day could. We had our students and staff there early and a crew of godly, young men who had their umbrellas at the ready to attend the parking lot and walk people through the deluge, if necessary. Our guests arrived to the smiling faces our greeting and registration crew who got them their tickets to enter for the drawings. Then our awesome ushering staff seated them. The vast majority of our people barely sat the whole service as they ministered to the needs of our guests. What an amazing team of willing vessels we have been blessed with!
As the service started, our one thing, our one goal for the whole day took flight. The Gospel message was preached--through song, through word, and through actions. The church was expectant as Pastor Debbie began to preach. The story of our Savior's persistent love filled the air as Pastor Debbie went into great detail of what He went through during His final day. His betrayal. His trial. His mocking. His beating. His scourging. His crucifixion. His death. His resurrection! As Pastor Debbie concluded her message the call was given. We are thrilled to report that all but a handful of our guests came to the altar! The altar was full of people--hands raised, tears falling--as they said the sinner's prayer.
Once the altar call concluded we took those who prayed with us into our library where we explained to them the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and prayed with them to receive. Many did! One man in particular fell under the power and as God touched him he kept trying to touch something in front of him. He explained later that the room was "foggy" and he was trying to reach out and see what it was. We explained to him that he was seeing the glory cloud of God! Many people were touched and changed by the power of our great God!
Why did we choose to do this? I have three reasons. Souls, souls, and souls! As people left the church with faces shining with new life we knew that whatever flak we received from religious people was worth it!