I realize that I didn't post last night and so I am combiningin 2 posts in 1. The first Hopefest was held at Mamelodi High School, about 20 mins. from where we are staying. We left about 6:30am and loaded our gear and supplies for the first day and headed out in 3 vans. We arrived to the school. Students were hanging out their classrooms in anticipation for this event. As we walked in and unloaded and stepped onto the stage for our sound check, I felt their anticipation as well. Excitement. I was almost nervous. We plugged in our guitars and checked monitors. After our sound check, we finished setting up the rest of the equipment and circled up for prayer. Things were chaotic which I expected seeing as we had a team of 40 volunteers/staff preparing to lead 1600 students for 4 hrs. We asked God to control our day and invited His presence to fill our hearts and the students filling the seats. Finally, 9am rolled around. The band took the stage and began "Count Me In", the first song of the first Hopefest in SA ever. As the day went on, things began to go wrong. The program that we spent weeks finalizing, was suddenly falling apart and beginning to run it's own course. I was reminded by Micah that "we have Plan B and God has Plan A". I was skeptical. One of the most memorable parts of the day came when Cyrus Uumfalo, national director for Reach4Life, invited the students to raise their hands and allow the volunteers to pray over them and bless them. It was easily the most moving thing that happened all day. Our music sets went well. The day ended and I have to say, I expected more. After meeting and discussing the day, we acknowledged that the day had been won for Christ regardless of the spiritual warfare that was going on during the Hopefest. At least 200 students came to Christ and committed to a life of purity.
The morning started similar. Arriving around 7am at Ribanelaka school and setting up the gear and circling in prayer. The difference to the day was prayer. We prayed collectively around 4 times before we started at 9am. We kicked off the day w/ "Let God Arise" and the students were immediately engaged and focused, a contrast to the day before. Our worship sets went well and the students sang loud. Powerful testimonies were given by students from the school and Lolo and his band celebrated and taught us how to worship God through dancing. I like that idea. As the day ended, Bonventure led the students in a time of commitment and gave an altar call. Around 200 students came up to receive Christ and commit to a life of abstinence and purity. The day went considerably better Day 1. The difference was prayer. God's victory was made evident. And I met a student who looked like Rihanna. And had a Facebook. Cool. Hopefest #3 starts at 5am tomorrow.