Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter on the Hill

Christ is risen!

He is risen INDEED!

What an awesome day it's been! While waking up to an alarm at 5:00 AM is not normally my idea of how a great day starts, I was more than willing to do so today! Hubby and I arrived at Celebration Church, Georgetown, Texas in the dark, with a big moon lightly shrouded in clouds hanging overhead, wearing our bright red Volunteer T-shirts. There were already dozens and dozens of red-shirted volunteers there with more on the way. (A total of 1,200 volunteers!) After checking in and receiving our badges, we grabbed our lawn chairs and cooler with water and Gatorade (which seemed appropriate considering the guest speaker!) and made our way to the top of the hill.

(Pictured: the stage and seating area on the "hill" behind our current facility. It is the highest point in Williamson County, with a 360 degree view including Austin to the south and Georgetown to the north. One day in the not-too-distant-future our new sanctuary and other buildings will be here!)

There was more seating behind the camera with 2 huge jumbo screens

By 7:30 AM buses began rolling in bringing folks from the off-site parking locations even though the service wouldn't actually start until 10:00 AM. Families, couples, young people, old(er) people. Black, white, brown. Rich, poor, middle class. The exact kind of crowd we'll find in heaven. All with different backgrounds, heritages, lifestyles, yet all with the same need of a Savior.

A birds-eye view!
Bus after bus after bus. By the start of the service there were 19,000+ people ready to praise God with awesome music, a great message from Pastor Joe Champion, and hear an inspiring message from NFL quarterback Tim Tebow! It was awesome to hear this young man share how much he loves Jesus Christ! Although he was raised in a Christian home, like each of us Tim had to come to a point in his life where he asked Jesus to be Lord of his heart and soul. Now God has given him an amazing world-wide platform to share the Gospel and the Truth about Jesus Christ! When speaking to those in the crowd who didn't know Jesus as their Savior, he reminded us all that Jesus said if we were ashamed of him, then he would be ashamed of us when he returns in his glory. (Mark 8:38) Powerful words!

Now that the day is winding down, reports are filling up Twitter and Facebook of people turning their lives over to the Lord. Over 1,000 people stood at the end of the service to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior! Hubby and I were part of the team handing out cards so these new Christians could be contacted to help them with the "Next Step" in their walk with Jesus. Hundreds came forward to pray with prayer partners and elders. A mother and her two teenage daughters drove all the way from Indianapolis -- a 17-hour drive. The reward for this faithful mother: both daughters accepted Christ as their Savior! Another person told how their parents drove in from out-of-town and ended up giving their lives to Jesus! And those are just a few of the many, many stories of lives being changed forever at Easter on the Hill!

All in all, it was an amazing day! It was such a privilege to be part of it. It is such a privilege to be counted among those who claim Jesus Christ as our Lord! It is because of Him we have life everlasting!

Praise His Holy Name!!


Click on this news link for a great slideshow of the day!


Paula Bicknell said...

So happy you got to be a part of such an amazing Easter :)Jesus is the reason we live!

Montalvo Country said...

That is so amazing!!! What a wonderful event to be a part of :)

Michelle Shocklee said...

Thanks, ladies! It's just really cool to be part of the BIG family of God, ya know?! =}

Love you!!