The Night Kailah Took the Stage
“So… ah… dad, do you think we should pray?”
“What?” I nodded absently back at my oldest daughter Sierra, “Oh yeah… totally…”
I was staring out at the cracked cement amphitheater where we were about to perform – we had arrived in the Dominican Republic the night before, and this was our first look at tonight’s venue.
A decent-sized stage had been folded out of a truck and was now set up in the corner with a full lighting and sound rig. Someone had set up several hundred white plastic chairs in front of the stage to complement the hundreds of feet of built in stadium seating, and everything was thrown into sharp contrast under the white glare of the stadium lights overhead. Just inside the entry gate, a weathered Dominican was selling popcorn from a carnival hand truck as the last traces of the tropical sun faded overhead.
This was a significant event for us, because it would be the first time my youngest daughter Kailah would be the primary speaker for a large overseas festival. We were excited to do this festival in partnership with the Reid Saunders organization (and sent out by the amazing On the Go Ministries) but there was a problem – we were short on people. A few dozen locals had begun to congregate in small groups and were now casting long shadows on the cement, but we were only a few minutes from starting, and our attendance was a long way from what we had been hoping for.
“What did you want to pray for again?”
“I was thinking maybe…” Sierra moved in closer to pray, “maybe we should pray for more people to come?”
“Yeah,” I said with more conviction than I was feeling, “Yeah, I think that’s a good idea…”
“God, we’re asking you for people,” Sierra looked down intently and her jaw tightened, “please bring in people who need to hear about the love of Jesus – please bring in the broken and the hurting… Please fill this place with people who need to know You…”
“Yes God…” I nodded in agreement, a battle was raging in my heart and mind. I knew that God COULD do anything, but with only a few minutes left, it seemed hard to imagine this space filling up in time for many people to hear the message that we were about to share.
Still, I was confident that we were asking for something that God WANTED us to ask for. In the Bible, 2 Peter 3:9 says that God is “…patient with [us] not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” I knew that God loves each of us more deeply than any of us could imagine, and that He wants us all to have an opportunity to experience forgiveness, freedom, and life through Jesus.
…And so we prayed.
…And once again, we watched God answer.
The event started late (or, more accurately on “Island Time”) giving hundreds of people time to filter in through the gates, drawn by the BMX stunts, the music, and the overall party atmosphere of the event. Kailah stood up and spoke with boldness, conviction and kindness, using an interpreter to share the love of Jesus with the hundreds who had gathered over the course of the evening – she offered an opportunity to say “yes” to Jesus, and dozens responded.
And all over the venue, people gathered again in small groups to pray for one another – young and old alike – local Christians came alongside those who had just embraced Jesus’ offer of life and freedom. Right in front of us, we watched lives changed for eternity.
And this is why we do what we do.
Kailah will most likely be sharing more about this experience in a future post, but for now, just know that no matter what circumstances we face, it’s important to remember that God is ABLE to do unbelievable things. James 5:16 says that “…the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” If we’ve trusted Jesus with our lives, accepting His invitation to forgive us, we have been made “righteous,” by His sacrifice alone – our prayers are “powerful” and “effective,” and God has promised “never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” (Heb 13:5)
Jesus loves the people of the Dominican Republic, he loves you and I and He loves people all over the world. We encourage you to remember God’s love for you, remember the power of your prayer, and remember that no matter what your situation, God can bring incredible victory.
Our vision is to reach as many people as possible all over the world with the incredible message of freedom in Jesus, and we have been consistently amazed by God’s provision and grace to accomplish this when we have needed it the most.We’ve been performing and sharing the love of Jesus daily in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC since last Friday, and already we’ve watched hundreds of people respond to the love of Jesus, in schools, churches, and outdoor events.
We’re scheduled to continue performing for several more days, culminating in a 3-day large-scale festival in the city of LA VEGA, after which we’re scheduled to play and share Jesus in Kenya, the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, and the USA. Please pray that God moves in amazing ways among the beautiful people of this island nation and beyond, friends!CLICK TO PARTNER WITH US IN OUR MISSION TO SHARE THE LOVE OF JESUS WORLDWIDE
THANK YOU for being part of the team – 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