August 26, 2013

God Showed Up at Creation Fest

There is a saying that goes,"What happens in...stays in...", but not this time. I believe that what happened at Creation Fest needs to be shared for all to hear. 

So what is Creation Fest? It is a Christian musical festival that includes camping, many bands, and great speakers. However, I believe it’s a chance to get a small glimpse of what heaven may be like, worshipping our Creator with like minded people here on earth. 

This was our second year attending as a family. Our group camping experience expanded from 4 families last year to 13 families this year. I love the way God opens doors to meet new friends from other areas as well as re-connect with old friends even from the same area. We asked the group a few questions and the responses were overwhelmingly unanimous. Musical highlights included groups like Plumb, Building 429, Matt Maher, For King and Country, Toby Mac, as well as the Newsboys and Chris Tomlin, with the Passion Band closing the event. Speakers who shared were Tony Campolo, Reggie Dabbs, David Nasser, Louie Giglio and others.

Did God show up there? Absolutely he did. I believe he showed himself to everyone in ways that they needed to experience him at that moment in their life. There were breakthroughs of anxiety and fears released, opportunities to serve others rather than being served, being able to spend quality time together as family units worshipping God, and allowing the kids to just be themselves. There were also quiet moments of God speaking directly to our hearts, revealing things that needed to be addressed and released, and so much more.

There is one experience I would like to share of how God showed up and revealed himself to us. Friday night closed out with Toby Mac taking the stage. A song he sang was called "If you want to steal my show" and it was about giving God the last word - God has ultimate control over everything. Well, God did show. He provided the most amazing lightning show around the perimeter of the camp ground that I have ever seen. The timing was impeccable with the music. With lighting comes thunder and with those two comes rain. I was in awe of the show yet in the back of my mind I was getting upset at the thought of rain again. We were tenting,and last year did not fair so well for us as things got really wet inside our tent. Toward the end of the show, Bia decided to take one of the younger kids back to camp. Upon her return she would help me pack up our chairs and blankets and then help carry things back. The show ended before she came back so I began to pack up. Kids were tired and cranky and I was getting nervous about the looming rain. We packed and began to walk out. I met Bia halfway and she asked if I had taken her phone. Well no, I thought she had it, to which she replied, "Nope, I left it in the pocket of my chair."  We looked, but no phone! In order to close these chairs you NEED TO FLIP them over to unlock the legs. Are you following me yet?

My temperature was beginning to rise as I ran back to where we were sitting but to no avail. There was no phone to be found. I asked a few bystanders but no luck. Now this is a "Christian Fest," so if it's found it must be returned. Lost and found had nothing, so I went back to camp and put the kids to bed. Meanwhile the lighting was getting brighter and the thunder was getting louder and closer! I felt the first drop. Okay, what now? Get the tarp on the tent. It was in record time as well because the rain came down and soaked us. Okay, so it's raining and there is still no phone? Well, if it's out there, it's now ruined from the rain. Then someone in our group said, "Well you can always pray about it!" Really??

Honestly, that was not really something that I was in the mood for. In fact, I was getting quite upset at the whole thing and wondering where God was in this mess. God was there, He just wasn’t ready to reveal himself yet. We continued to help others set up tarps to keep them dry and Bia decided to make some hot chocolate for herself. As she reached for the first chair that was closed up she grabbed my chair and low and behold the phone was on the seat of it. So in short, if you missed it, the phone was left in her chair pocket, we flipped them over to close them, carried them back to camp, opened them up many times to look for the phone, and at the right moment it was in MY chair of all places. A place that I had looked many times!

Yes, God was there and yes, God wants the best for us, and YES, God does forgive us of our attitudes and thoughts that we have when we can't see things through. I may not have prayed at that moment but I know that our group was praying and, YES, God answers prayer!!

Ron Warkentin (on behalf of the crew)

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