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Co[]ide with LIFE 2010

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As I reflect on the LIFE 2010 week, July 6–10, one thing sticks out above all the other memories—God was there. His presence was evident in every aspect of the event. Normally at conferences like these, you expect to see God work during the worship and speaking times but not so much while the participants are standing in line for lunch or waiting to climb the rock wall. And even though we hope that all we do at LIFE speaks of God, there always seems to be those “down times” in which God is just not the highlight. Not so with this year’s LIFE conference. The aroma of God blew in like a lion the very first evening and hung there like a heavy cloud even as groups were pulling their vans away to return home.

What I saw in Louisville, Kentucky, was truly a miracle. A miracle by definition is “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency” — and I couldn’t relay to you any better what happened at LIFE. It isn’t natural to expect an event like this, which took about three years of planning, to be run by hundreds of volunteers. It isn’t normal to see thousands of students take over an expo center, multiple hotels and a baseball stadium, only to see God’s love and mercy displayed through their actions. It isn’t normal to have bus drivers and waitresses overwhelmed by the amazing character of such a large group of kids. It isn’t normal in today’s economy to see students faithfully promise to give a quarter of a million dollars to Great Commission Ministries. It isn’t normal to gather 6,500 high school students in one city and have them focus on God’s will for their lives. When all of these abnormal things began to converge, the leadership team wondered how God would move in the hearts of these students. So when He showed up and did His “immeasurably more than all we could hope for or imagine” thing that He likes to do, it was both surprising and welcomed.

One of the things at LIFE that impressed me most was the attitude of our Alliance students. From the first chord of the first song we sang together, I knew that they had come not to be spectators but to be worshipers. This was evident not only in the main sessions but also in small-group times, at meals and while they were waiting in the line for the Project Experience. Another plus was the intentionality of our youth workers. The preparation for LIFE is harried at best, often resulting in an “I got them here, now you do the rest” mentality. I did not see one instance of this the entire week; instead, I saw a group of youth leaders who were engaged both physically and spiritually in the lives of their students. I am so proud of them. Finally, I would like to address the efforts of the Executive Team, Life Impact Ministries and all the volunteer workers and interns. These folks are truly the backbone of such a large event. There is no way I could describe to you how much work these people did—and while I have been the recipient of many encouraging words, please know that what was done on stage was just the tip of the iceberg for a much larger effort by a truly gifted group of people.

Please join me in prayer for the more than 100 students who accepted Christ as their Savior at LIFE. Pray also for the many students who answered the call to full-time ministry. And pray for us at the National Office, that we would do well with this great deposit that God has given by way of a generation that longs for the heart of God in this world.

Photos courtesy of Amber Jacoby Photography. For information about how to purchase LIFE photos, go to www.amberjacobyphotography.com

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