Wednesday I went with Fish Out of Water to Rockford, IL to do a chapel service for a high school down there as well as two assemblies for grade schools in the area.
Well, the high school experience was totally awesome. God really blessed us, as the skit went really well, my little introduction that I was really nervous about went really well, and the talk afterwards went really well. [Oh, one other thing that just really was awesome--when we started singing "Create in Me A Clean Heart" (the praise version) at least half of the students sang along. We didn't have words passed out or anything, and I just remember that at least at my high school we didn't usually have a whole lot of particiaption always, especially if we didn't have the words and music in front of us on handouts or anything. It was just really cool to see so many people participating.]
And then we met with some students interested in drama after high school in the library, and that was lots of fun, and then we had lunch, and there were a few of the students who were really excited about us being there, and it was just so awesome. Jamie ended up really becoming "friends" with two of the girls, and they are supposed to stay with her when they come to visit the campus, eventually. Well, they are the "Crusaders" and they have these purple shirts that say "Crusader Crazy" (their colors are purple and white--very cool) and the two freshmen (one was wearing one of the shirts) were like, I wonder if we have anymore Crusader Crazy shirts left, we could give them some. And they were having trouble finding out, so the one wearing one went and changed and gave her shirt to Jamie, who immediately put it on over her Fish shirt, while flipping out about how cool it was. Then about 5 minutes later the girl that Brad knew from somewhere came into the lunchroom/commons type of place with an armful of purple shirts--one for every Fish!!! It was so awesome, we all put them on for the rest of the time we were at the high school...it was just so great to really be able to connect with at least some of those people.
Then came the first grade school. I learned recently about the idea that children under the age of 12 are all going to heaven cause they are too young to really have faith and God wouldn't send them to hell. Well, all I have to say is that anyone who thinks that children don't have faith is just totally off, and if they could have seen this group of kids they would have changed their minds. This is the kind of school that you WANT to teach at...these kids not only wanted to learn, both in general and about the Lord, but they were on FIRE for God...
We stared the assembly with our intro, and skit, and then we talked, and we sang a song, and that all went really great, but then as they were going to be leaving, we started looking for other songs to sing during the time that they were leaving. And the music director gets up and asks us if we would like them to sing for us. We said, yeah, that would be fine, and Oh, my God, (and I don't mean that in the taking His name in vain way, I really mean that as a prayer) these children were amazing. Half of the members of Fish were crying or teary eyed, we were so moved. They sang "Yes! I Believe" (every single child there) and that in and of itself had tears streaming down Jamie's face. Then they sang "El-Shad-Ai" or however it's spelled. Then, they sang the Benediction. I tell you, you have not lived until you have been blessed by fifty or sixty 5, 6, and 7 years olds. It was so moving, I just couldn't believe it. It was just so amazing.
And it wasn't over yet! Then after they had left, the music teacher was talking to us, and she said that she wished we could see their 6th graders do their "human vidoes." She was so excited about the idea that she went to see if one of the classes would be able to come quickly and perform for us. (We came to this school to share Jesus with them, and I think we got more out of it then we were able to give to them...isn't is amazing how God works?!?) So this 6th grade class came in and did their human videos for "Blue Sky" by Point of Grace and "Bring it On" by Steven Curtis Chapman. Now, some of the other Fish thought the second one was kind of cheesy, but I really liked them both. And the really interesting and (again) amazing thing was these kids were really into doing this! None of them looked embarrased or like they felt stupid or anything. It's like, I remember in 6th grade it would have been near impossible to get more than 5 people to do something like that, and this entire class was not only doing it but enjoying themselves. This was just one of the most cool things I had ever seen. I couldn't believe how in love with God that these children were. And I just had to share that with everyone.