We Had No Idea How Much This Would Affect Us…
Several weeks ago, I woke up in a dark hotel room on the small island of San Pedro Belize.
The sun had just risen above the horizon, but the fiercely vibrating window-mounted air conditioner was already showing signs of losing its battle with the 100 degree heat and 95% humidity outside.
It was Monday morning – Saturday we had finished a show in Western Iowa, driven several hours to the nearest airport, slept for less than two hours, and boarded an airplane. After traveling on two planes, a worn-looking 80’s-era taxi, and an ocean ferry, we had arrived on the island in time to perform three times on Sunday evening.
God had moved, it had been awesome… and now we were exhausted.
But I knew that we weren’t finished – we were scheduled to launch a fund-raising campaign for our upcoming CD and I knew how important it was.
I also knew that we weren’t ready.
We had asked some trusted friends for feedback on the project, and after listening to them, we realized that the video portion of the project just wasn’t where it needed to be… and we were going to have to re-shoot the WHOLE THING.
And so we did. In the tropical climate of a foreign country. In the heat. With the voracious Belizean bugs.
And the results were unexpected – we were forced to examine our vision, and really WORK to articulate it for the project. And honestly, it was refreshing, and encouraging – it reminded us of WHY we do what we do.
It reminded us again of God’s relentless love for the people of the world, and of the passion that He’s given us to reach as many as possible with the life-transforming message of Jesus.>>> If you’re interested in getting the new music early, and you’d like to partner with us to share this message with the world, please note that there is only ONE DAY LEFT in the campaign. It ends THIS FRIDAY at MIDNIGHT, so please don’t miss the deadline if you’d like to take advantage of this! <<<
You can check out the video HERE if you haven’t already – and we honestly hope that watching it encourages you as much as making it did for us!
In the video, we talk about our experience in Myanmar, and how watching God use the music to impact lives there had a profound impact on us – read on if you’d like to hear the behind-the-scenes story of the event, and God bless you, friends!
“Hey, this is great – this place is starting to fill up!”
“I know… Praise God! Yeah…”
Immediately to my left, evangelist Reid Saunders glanced over at me and smiled for a moment at my excitement, then turned back to the crowd, letting his sentence trail off distractedly. Over the last few days, my respect for this man had grown immensely.
Directly behind us was an expansive, open air, eighth-floor view of the city of Mandalay, Myanmar. In front of us, approximately 5000 white plastic chairs had been painstakingly set up by local volunteers. About 75% of them were filled with people, many of whom were craning their necks to get a better view of the raised stage and impressive light display as they waited for the show to start.
“This is really great, but… shouldn’t all of these chairs be filled?”
I turned to face my friend, slightly surprised by the question, but mostly relieved that he was asking it. There really is a fine line among those whose mission it is to share the love of God with as many people as possible – in John 6:44, Jesus says that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…” so we know that only God can bring the people in, and we are so grateful for every single person who comes.
At the same time, we also know that God does not want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (Peter 3:9) so we are compelled to do our best to reach as many as possible with the message of freedom and forgiveness through Jesus.
It’s an interesting tension – we’re beyond grateful for people that God has reached with His incredible love, but we’re convinced that His desire is to continually reach more.
And tonight we were wondering why the room wasn’t filled.
“I mean this is awesome – you’re right,” Reid shook his head, “but sharing Jesus like this JUST became possible in Myanmar, and we want to reach as many people as we can with the Gospel here….”
“Yeah…” I sighed, but it was more a sigh of relief – it felt good to know that I wasn’t the only one who wrestled with thoughts like this, “Listen, though, it hasn’t started yet, and we know God wants to reach a ton of people – let’s pray that God would do a miracle and fill this place tonight.”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea – lets do it.”
And in the back of the room we prayed, thousands of miles from home, in the middle of a beautiful country, surrounded by thousands of truly great people, we prayed that God would bring in thousands more.
And He did.
Because He’s an amazing God who loves people with an unfathomable love.
For three nights the venue was full – it was an incredible party with great bands and action sports. And every night a great speaker shared the message of Jesus with the crowd – that we’ve all sinned and separated ourselves from God, but that Jesus loved us so much that He paid a price for our sin, and we can have forgiveness and new life through Him.
And thousands responded – more than 2200 beautiful people said “yes” to Jesus and experienced His incredible love.
And this is why we do what we do.
After the event on the first night, as we were busy with follow up, Reid caught my eye and gestured out at the people.
“God answered – he did it! Praise Jesus – He’s so good!”
And He HAD done it – Praise God. Jesus loves people more than we can imagine, and it’s an incredible privilege to watch Him rescue those He came to save.
All over the world, people are desperately in need of the freedom and forgiveness that is only available through Jesus, and our vision is to share this love with as many people as possible in every nation of the world.
Since April of 2017, we’ve had the privilege of watching God move powerfully all over the world. We saw thousands respond to Jesus in twelve nations and territories on five continents – we’ve just finished up a packed few months of events in Israel, the West Bank, France, Belize and across the American South and Midwest, . Now we’re preparing for some exciting opportunities to share the love of Jesus in Pakistan, Mexico and across the American Midwest this fall.
THANK YOU for helping us share the love of Jesus worldwide. Our vision is to follow God’s leading and help reach as many nations and people as we can with the message of Jesus, and your partnership helps us reach the world together. If you’d like to help, click HERE to partner financially and follow us on FACEBOOK for daily prayer updates from the field.
Zach and White Ribbon Day