Hey GBC family,
The first official program of the summer here at JH Ranch has come to a close. Basically, the CEO of this insurance company (Primerica) brought 500 of his associates with him to the Ranch for a "leadership retreat". Many of these associates were unbelievers. Cutting the story short, these 500 individuals had the time of their lives this past week in that the gospel was shared and lived out in front of them on a daily basis, or at least we as a staff strived to make it happen. Last night was the Life Purpose and Forgiveness talk and it was an incredible site to see around 400 of these guests storm the stage during the invitation! Literally, the wooden stage that we build every year, surrounded by hay bails, started to crack there were so many people standing on it. Praise God!
One heartbreaking and yet freeing story was shared by this 21 year-old woman. She was in tears when she described how her mother was a prostitute when she was younger, only for her life to be cut short in a tragic murder by a man she didn't know. She talked about how she struggled her entire life to come to a place of forgiveness toward her mother, how she struggled with being relational with females because of her mother's abandonment as well as with men because of her lack of trust. Last night she said was the first time she'd been able to come to a place of forgiveness, not only toward her mother, but for herself as well through Christ.
I think it's amazing how the Lord is continually bringing me and even pushing me to a place of intercession. As Christians we tend to throw this word around and equate it with prayer requests for individuals besides ourselves. However, what I'm learning is that intercession is literally seeking the success of others. To put it another way, we are the body of Christ, and if I come to the realization/perception that I am part of that body with the same goals, the same desires, then I will undoubtedly be prompted to seek the success and growth of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Their success is essentially my success, in that we are all part of this same mysterious and liberating body of Christ. Look at Jesus when He washes his disciples' feet. He served them. He desired that each one of them would have the same, intimate relationship with the Father that He had. We should do the same, not out of duty, but out of the overflow of the Spirit.
On another, more light-hearted note, one of the associates from Primerica wanted to give back to the staff in some tangible way. So, he and his wife took us all on a Wal-Mart run where each of the staff could get three necessities (i.e. toiletries, blankets, FOOD, sunglasses, medicine, FOOD, shorts, pants, sweatshirts, FOOD). That was a fun time!
I praise God for you all!