Sunday, October 09, 2005

Post DC Festival

Well we spent a lot of time at the DC Festival this weekend. Our original plans were to take a small group of SPACE kids down to help serve at the Festival. We had a team that had pre-registered to help with some of the sports clinics and stuff like that. Instead, all of the children's activities, the sports clinics, skate park, etc. were closed all day Saturday due to rain. And did it rain. The Festival ran a modified schedule instead, with just a smaller stage show.

Instead of bagging the idea, we asked the kids what they wanted to do. Of course, they wanted to go anyway. So we went. And it was still raining. We did help out a little bit, passing out some gift bags to people in the show for a few hours. And the students got to see Kutless and Toby Mac, which was a lot of fun.

Sunday was a much nicer day, so D and I decided to take our girls to it too. Everything was open and it was neat to see it all in full swing. Our kids had a great time and we even spent a few minutes in one of the art galleries at the end of our day - injecting just a bit of culture in them. The Metro, being in the city, the Festival, the grand art gallery, they loved it all.

One of my goals was to expose our SPACE students to this style of a large, attractional, evangelistic festival, specifically to have them evaluate whether this type of thing works in our culture or not anymore. In my first video clip related to this blog, I interview three of our students. I think its working - click here to watch it. If it doesn't work, please let me know via the comments.

Related to that topic, I can say that in the children's area, the workers there took every opportunity to love the kids AND share the Gospel. My kids heared the Gospel explained at least three times - the stage show, the Gospel braclets and the spin paint. There was always an opportunity for a decision and there were plenty of counselors right there in the area. They also gave out children's books which included both fun games, a response card and a Gospel presentation. My impression was that volunteers knew straight up why they were there - their goal was clear. In fact, their goal was so clear that Em actually raised her hand during the stage show when they asked the kids if anyone had prayed that prayer. We haven't had time yet to really talk to her and see if it was indeed significant but she heard both the message and the opportunity to respond loud and clear.

Kudos to the DC Festival staff and volunteers. One of our old friends works for the organization and they moved here two years ago to plan this weekend. It really took a lot of work and must have been very satisfying to see all the events on Sunday instead of all the rain on Saturday. A pretty neat experience to be looking at the Capitol building while the Gospel was being presented.

Photos: Luis Palau on the main stage, with the US Capitol in the background; some of our team serving in the rain; the childrens maze with the Monument behind Larry (thats a little weird); D and the girlies in the National Gallery of Art

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