Last night our team put on the first program at the Harvest India campus that we are calling The Bridge. We've spent the last few weeks performing at local colleges to promote the event and rallying college age students to attend from the surrounding area. The hours of preparation, practice, planning, and promoting paid off ten fold as the event was a huge success, but not without it's challenges.
Our team has been learning quickly and thoroughly in our time here that nothing in India comes easy, and nothing worth doing comes without its challenges. If we weren't experiencing difficulties, then we would know that we weren't doing something right. We've tried to recognize that each conflict and difficulty is God's opportunity in disguise. It's our lion to slay.
We received news just before the event began that two of the colleges we had previously visited were not allowing their female students to attend because they felt it wasn't safe for them to be out at night. One of those two colleges is an all girls school of roughly 500 students. Once again, the Indian culture caught us by surprise as we were under the impression that the schools had already confirmed that they would be participating. So there we were, staring at about 70 students when we expected over 600 to be in attendance. This was our lion.
So before we hit the stage, we rounded up the team and the Harvest India staff and prayed over the event and whatever God had planned for it regardless of our expectations. It was out of our hands and we knew it. We had to just let go and trust that the seats would be filled even though we had no idea how.
The show kicked off with our MC's John and Bethany and slowly the seats began to fill with people coming in from the main highway. The Bridge band came up next and performed two songs, one of which was Billy Jean, and the crowd went nuts! They absolutely love Michael Jackson here in India and they showed it. Next up were the Minute To Win It games hosted by Lizzi and Taylor that gave the students the opportunity to win prizes such as sunglasses for the boys and bangles for the girls. After the games, Crystal gave a message on the importance of community and how God intended for us to live in it. The whole team took the stage after the message and performed an amazing dance choreographed by the very talented John Brokenshire that can be viewed by clicking HERE. Needless to say the audience went absolutely crazy! Afterward, The Bridge band came back on to perform one last song before the Harvest India team honored John with a plethora of garlands and hugs.
By the end of the night nearly all the seats were full and we had a rambunctious crowd of students dancing, laughing, and shouting right along with us. It just goes to show that if you put your faith in God and let go of your own expectations and worries, He is faithful to provide all that you need and more!
|The Bridge band rockin' out|
|Crystal bringing the message|
|The Bridge stage and crowd|
|John B. with Christina & Suresh Kumar|
|The team in all its glory|