JP and I spent so much time in preparation leading up to the weekend. When I was a student, this was just one of those things I payed $30 for and showed up at. However, as the wife of a student pastor (and a much more mature follower of Christ), a D-Now weekend is really a matter of life and death. When that many students are in one place together worshiping the one true God for an entire weekend, anything could happen!
Besides booking Chris White to speak and the Dustin Searls Band to lead worship, one of the most important things we did was fast the week leading up the D-Now. JP and I both refrained from eating any food Monday-Thursday of that week (I also fasted from all forms of social media). Instead, when our stomachs growled (or I was looking for time to kill on facebook or twitter), we prayed that God would work in the lives of everyone who was coming. We really tried to live out John 3:30.
Of course, the closer you get to God, the more and more Satan wants to wreck your life and ruin your plans in hopes that you'l break and curse God. The whole week long (and even before that) JP and I started noticing that so many things were falling apart. Examples.... JP sets the date of D-Now (and all of our events) about one year in advance to ensure that speakers can come and bands can play and students can start paying over time instead of all at once. Wouldn't you know that during the weekend of our D-Now there was a baseball and softball tournament planned! This was a huge disappointment at first because many of our students play these sports. So, we trusted it would all work out and began praying for rain!
That's not all though! JP has had his wisdom teeth since seventh grade and has never had a problem with pain in them until this week! (Side note: when he traveled to China back in 2011, one of this wisdom teeth started breaking in pieces, and it did not hurt once!) In the middle of all the fasting and praying, we ended up making visits to the oral surgeon for a consultation to get those babies out! I honestly had no idea how expen$ive oral surgery was until this past week!
With all of the chaos and difficulties we faced leading up to the weekend, we knew that something really good and different than ever before was coming, and we couldn't wait!
When the day finally arrived and the students started showing up, you could feel the difference in the place. Students who dont regularly come to church were there! We had some of the best college students and adult leaders from all over the place (Trek-X aka Nashville, Gentry, Ozark, Ozark K-Life, Heavener, Poteau, Red Oak) to help lead our students in Bible studies and different break out sessions on everything from how to have your own Bible study, to being a next generation missionary today! Our students connected so well with them and built some long-lasting relationships.
We had some VERY kind families who donated their homes and time for the weekend to house our crazy students! I can't even begin to thank them enough! We also had some adults who stayed all weekend long to help us run things smoothly and serve food and cook food (God bless their souls)! The list of people we are indebted to is never-ending!
When the worship services started, I have to admit I was extremely nervous! It was one of the most important parts of the whole weekend, and I had never heard the worship band before that day! They were so solid! Back that together with Chris White preaching the truth from Matthew 5:14-16, and you have an unstoppable combination!
I also have to brag on all of our students for displaying true worship of God and paying attention to what was being taught.
You can't have a D-Now weekend without a little fun, thus our very own Harlem Shake video that you can watch here!
But these videos are where the real fun happen!
One of our students, Ty, was saved (watch that video here) and baptized the Sunday morning of D-Now (watch that video here)! Such an exciting time to watch God move and be a small part of it! Others also followed Christ that weekend, but Ty's story is too good not to share!
JP and I cannot wait to see what comes next for these students, and we pray that we will make disciples that stand firm in their faith!