With the 17th annual festival in the rearview mirror for over two weeks now, I’d like share my thoughts with YOU since you are part of the extended group of people who are ministry partners; media, donors, volunteers, vendors, artists & speakers and many ” festival friends.”
Much can be said about the 2013 Spirit West Coast festival in Monterey but the essence can be summed up in just a few lines:
* Over 250 people made first time salvation commitments to follow Jesus Christ.
* Another 500 plus made rededications or other spirit decisions.
* Over 150 children were sponsored by people through Compassion International, a push back on poverty and an introduction to Jesus.
When the Gospel is presented and people are giving an opportunity to respond to the Spirit, you never know what God does in the lives of those who hear. It’s impossible to chart spiritual impact, but these numbers come from the onsite ministry team who pray and counsel with people and from direct text responses, so it’s a solid indication that hundreds of lives left Laguna Seca in a different spiritual place than when they arrived.
I praise God for each person who accepted Jesus including 42-year-old Toni from Chico, Joe (62) from Fresno, and Ryan (18) from Salinas just to name a few. Children Mason, Clara, Emily, Isaac and Taylor accepted Jesus into their hearts at strongman Jon Pritikin’s show in VeggieLand on Thursday, news especially precious to me since I was but 7 when I first I asked Jesus into my heart.
Knowing that eternity will be different for so many people makes all the efforts and expense necessary to stage the event worth it. Hey, we’d do it all if even ONE life was changed!
Other wonderful things happened:
· God was glorified and lifted-up at concert after concert, especially the presentations by Jeremy Camp and Matthew West.
· Each evening message was dynamic and we thank God for bringing the team of speakers to us; Reggie Dabbs, Bob Lenz, Nick Hall and Reid Saunders.
· Fans enjoyed the newer talent, which included Rhett Walker Band, Jamie Grace and especially For King and Country.
On the business side of “how things went”, as a ministry we continue to live by faith, totally dependent on God for our future. The attendance may have been low but the Spirit sure was high! Considering there was no Monterey event in 2012, we were just thankful to once again be praising God at Laguna Seca and providing an opportunity for thousands to hear the Good News.
Between the Monterey and Southern California events there has been 24 Spirit West festivals since 1997 and over 10,000 people have salvations and rededications…10,000! It’s beyond amazing how God has so radically used this unique ministry for His Kingdom.
Now our journey continues into a future that is in His hands. During recent times I’ve used the verse (and story) from Hebrews 11:8 where Abraham left the security of home for the unknown and what would become the promise land. The verse says “…and he did not know where he was going” which I think is an appropriate description for the SWC journey of faith. Like Abraham, we may not yet see the complete picture of our future but we DO know who is directing our steps.
Just as in the past, we’re trusting God to show us when, where and how to do another ministry event. God provided a way for SWC to happen in Monterey in 2013 and we’re trusting Him for the next move.
Thank you SO MUCH for taking the 2013 faith journey with us; everyone’s part is important.
I’m incredibly thankful for what God did in 2013…praise the Lord!