So much for watching that DVD that I should’ve watched on the plane ride!
When Daniel Johnson and I arrived in Sacramento, California, there was no time to sleep. After sifting through piles of luggage at the airport,
we hopped in our rental car and raced over to a restaurant called the Claim Jumper to eat and engage in fellowship with the leadership group of the House of Bread Church.
This Slavic church had been planning the event for almost a year. I am always amazed at how the Russian church body does such a good job of advertising and coming together for special events. The love of Christ is very evident in their communities. They were excited about the events and the enthusiasm rubbed off on us rather quickly. Not many people know that Sacramento is home to one of the largest Russian communities in the United States, and seeing as how my wife, Tanya, is from the Ukraine, I always manage to feel right at home when I visit one of their churches.
Saturday night, I was able to speak for two hours on the “Proof of God.”
People laughed and nodded their heads in what I hope was an expression of understanding these truths. Between the two sessions, there was a short break to let the multitudes “come and dine.” I think Daniel enjoyed the table full of sweets more than letting people know about our material. But that’s okay, because he was able to sell out seven products before the first session even began! This audience was hungry for the truth, and couldn’t wait to get their hands on it.
On Sunday, we moved the services to their new facility a few miles away.
I shared the message “God Quest” with them in the afternoon and planned on speaking on “How to be a Christian on Campus” that evening. For these talks, I was going to give Session 4 of my Beginnings series, “Facts versus Faith,” but God had a different idea. You see, apparently the best way to be a Christian on campus is to —Be a Christian. Through Scripture and personal testimony, the Holy Spirit did amazing work in the hearts and minds of hundreds. It was so humbling to see God work in the lives of so many people. They were so hungry to hear the truth, it was all I could do to stay out of the way long enough to not mess anything up. :-)
For the second session, I asked my friend Sye TenBruggencate to join me via Skype and help me talk to the crowd. We did some role playing and talked to the students about how to get to the fundamental questions of a worldview. That was followed by a question-and-answer session that got very entertaining as a “Muslim/Christian” wanted to debate the idea of Christianity being exclusive. After a nice chat, we entertained more questions about how to give a proper defense of the faith! Of course, no speaking engagement would be complete if we didn’t learn how to shoot a rubber band the scientific way. This led to a whole new kind of fellowship among the young people!
The gaps of the weekend were filled enjoying all of the lovely amenities that we can’t find in Pensacola, such as Jack in the Box, BJ’s (LOVE the Pizookies!) and the incredible In N Out Burgers.
Our hosts couldn’t have been more gracious, and the fellowship was out of this world. We definitely can’t wait to come back and do it all again sometime.
And, as you can see, “some” people like to do their sleeping on the way home from the trip.
It is such a blessing to spend all our energy investing in others!