Kenya Update and Live Concert Highlights!
It’s hard to believe that when we board a plane for Kenya in less than two weeks, it will mark FIVE YEARS of walking out this mission together with you – a mission to share the incredible message of Jesus with as many people as possible in every nation in the world!
More than 20 nations. More than 95,000 reached. More than 10,000 decisions for Jesus. God has been using YOU to make an incredible difference. We put together this short concert video from our recent festival in Mandalay, Myanmar to give you a tiny glimpse of the journey:
And… here’s the behind the scenes story of what REALLY happened before the making of this video:
“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?”
We’re excited to impact Kenya together! We’ll be partnering with local churches to provide evangelism training, sharing the love of Jesus in festivals and schools. Please pray that many lives would be impacted by the life-giving message of Jesus, for the safety of all team members, and for provision for all remaining expenses. If you’d like to help financially, we are always grateful – simply click to partner with us in this mission – thank you, friends!
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.
Over the next few months, we’re scheduled to share the love of Jesus in Kenya, Belize, and across the United States – we’re serious about reaching as many people as possible in every country with the message of Jesus, and we’re so thankful for your love, prayer and support.