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Friday, 6 March 2015

Indiana Revival Report: Day 52

What a day. Everyone knew it was going to be crazy, after Kyle implored the tens of thousands who have been following ReviveINDIANA to do whatever it took to be there for March Forth. At 7 am, Maple City Chapel already held thousands of people. Fortunately one last downward plunge of the thermometer had ensured that the grass parking lot behind the building would be useable, rather than a sea of mud. Most surrounding business (notably including Menards, whose competitor Ace Hardware has received about 52 promotions from the pulpit, and notably not including the bank, whose drive-in window had unfortunately been blocked the third Wednesday) had opened up their parking lots, either next door, down the street, or even across the highway.

After an in-your-seats breakfast (there were still over 500 donuts left at the end), somewhere upwards of 500 4-person teams were assembled and sent out in waves. The last teams to be made up barely had time to go anywhere before returning to Goshen to assemble at Rogers Park at 12:30, where 2000 people somehow all fit in a single pavilion for a snack lunch (15,000 had been made up, and were also distributed to the satellite locations so attendees there could also share a fellowship meal) and a brief song. Then, for about half an hour, a steady stream 2-3 people wide issued forth to walk over the bridge, past the courthouse, and around the old jail. The vanguard returned long before the end of the march had left the park.

It was cold and icy, with a biting wind; one woman slipped on the driveway of the park and suffered injury when she fell. Many young people hadn't worn gloves or boots. And there was a bit of an outcry from the surrounding businesses who found their parking lots and restrooms overrun by a couple thousand people and their cars. But, no matter the weather, at least they did March Forth.

The prolonged march also cut into the time for afternoon teams--crazy it was. Then, by 5:30 the parking attendants were already turning away anyone without a reserved seat, sending them to one of 7 simulcast locations spread over 4 counties (the closest, only about 3 miles away). The regular overflow area was full; all but the center aisle of the sanctuary were full; the cafeteria area was full (requiring another in-your-seats snack meal). All three theaters were full, with extra chairs in the side aisles. Best estimates are that upwards of 4000 people were in attendance, and the Fire Marshall came that close to shutting everything down.

More craziness: Nine baptisms, or eight if you count the fact that two teens got baptized together. Yes, and what a touching scene it was: a severely disabled girl was brought up in her lay-down wheelchair, and her friend explained how she had reached out last week to share the gospel with her at school. Now that they were sisters in Christ, she wanted them to be baptized together. She then climbed into the stock tank, while her friend was lowered into her arms; then they passed through the waters together.

Then Kyle spent quite a bit of time bringing up the entire Time to Revive team and introducing them. Somehow, even the ones in charge of the Children's Ministry managed to get to the stage.

On all 47 days, a local pastor had the opening. This time is was Phil Byars, of Elkhart Baptist (he'd spoken much earlier, being one of the leading members of the pastoral team). He shared an extensive clip from his favorite movie, the Wonkavator scene from Willy Wonka. By the time he was done applying it to the present situation, it was almost nine.

When Kyle finally got up, he was pretty brief. He'd been sharing for the previous two nights on stages in the life of a hair follicle, and admitted that he'd long had a problem with the third one: it stops growing and goes into a time of rest. But this is what God had showed him: Taking a cue from Mary v. Martha, ReviveINDIANA was to take a 30-day rest, and then come back together again on Holy Saturday. No meetings, no outreach teams. Spend time in the Word, both individually and in the 50-some Bible Studies that ReviveINDIANA is setting up across the area. But on Day 83, the team will be back to Pray, Eat, Revive, and Repeat--and he's convinced that they'll be able to do so without having lost any momentum.

This brings an end to The White Man's reporting on ReviveINDIANA.

Unless it doesn't.

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