It's Sunday night, and we've just had another incredible day of ministry. Everyone will (hopefully) sleep well tonight after a jammed pack day, for most an 18+ hour day. Today we got to do not one, but two concerts in different towns. It was a lot of travel and logistics, and we are all definitely exhausted, but we are thankful for all God did today.
This morning, we returned to our friends at Holy Trinity Baptist Church in Deva, just about an hour's drive from Alba Iulia. It was great to see some familiar faces, and some new, but mostly we were excited to once again worship with the congregation there. They essentially let us "take over" their normally scheduled worship service for today, and it was a moving service. Despite the early morning and the jet lag, our team led with joy in their hearts and it was evident on their faces. Bryant spoke as well, and his message was on Nicodemus meeting Jesus in the night in John 3. It was a powerful sermon, followed by more powerful worship. We are thrilled that during a response time, we had several people make first-time decisions to follow Christ. Needless to say, this fueled our enthusiasm and excitement for our outreach concert tonight in Sebes, just a few miles from where we are staying in Alba Iulia.
Nestled in the town of Sebes is a cathedral that was originally built in the 1200's. For those who went with us two years ago, we sang at this church, but we were once again very excited to be back. Tonight's concert was an outreach concert that was publicized to the community. Every seat in the place was taken and it was standing room only by the time the concert started. The choir and orchestra once again knocked it out of the park, and Bryant was able to share the gospel yet again. The Holy Spirit moved and once again, several people tonight made public professions of faith for the first time. It was even sweeter to see a familiar face raise his hand to publicly profess his new found faith.
Some of our team have known a gentleman who works in the Sebes mayor's office for a couple of years. He works with coordinating events that take place in Sebes, and even went to our concert two years ago. If you struck up a conversation with him, specifically about matters of faith, you'd know that he had no interest in anything pertaining to religion whatsoever, and his life reflected that. Well tonight, he decided he wanted to come to the concert again. And when Bryant asked for those who decided to follow Christ to raise their hands, he was one of them. It was an emotional time for sure... for some, they've been praying for this man ever since they met him two years ago, and to be able to be a part of his salvation story was absolutely remarkable. For him, tonight it finally clicked that God wanted to have a relationship with Him, and that he could personally know Him because of what Christ did on the cross. His words on the concert tonight were: "Tonight felt like my birthday, Christmas, Easter, and the first time riding my bike... rolled into one evening." He also talked about joy, and how anytime he'd look up at the choir, all he saw were faces of absolute joy... nothing contrived or manufactured, but pure joy in worship to this personal God who loves us more than we will ever know. He knew in those moments that the God we came here to proclaim is truly great and worthy of our praise, and is the cause for the joy in our faces.
We don't know why, for this man, that tonight was the night for him. If he was here two years ago, he would have certainly also heard a clear gospel presentation then as well. All we know is that we did our best to be obedient in sharing the love of Christ, and the Holy Spirit did the rest. We got to be part of the harvest, and for that I know we are all grateful. It makes us excited and ready to experience what God has in store in the next 3 days of ministry. As always, we covet your prayers as we continue on!