During the month of February we have been in a series called the "Love Revolution", where Pastor Nolan has been unpacking the truth of God's love for us, and how we can share that powerful, life-changing love to others.
Love is a verb...for the past two weeks our minichurches (small groups) have been organizing outreaches to love the community. Minichurches blessed the restaurants and shops with food and prayers in the building where our church meets. They blessed the jeepney and tricycle drivers. They passed out free gatorade to workers along the streets near our church. They set up a soup kitchen and gave out food, clothes and toys in our church's barangay, particularly in an area that just had a major fire. All the while we invited people to our finale, our last service of the series...a huge banquet to bless the community.
This was not your typical banquet...What was special about this banquet was that the church members would be the ones to provide all the food and invite the people - it was not just a few servants or leaders behind this, instead it was the entire church's event to love others in a tangible way. Tonight was the Love Revolution Banquet.
Where is everybody?...Many were invited, the night started great, the worship was awesome, the food was being prepped and our servants were ready. The only problem was that when we began to serve the food less than half the seats were filled...it was underwhelming. We decided to send a small team of servants down to the streets near our church and invite anyone they saw to come have a free feast. We literally lived out the parable in Luke 14.
Here comes the miracles...Shortly after, people came flooding into the church, every seat was filled, others were standing. What started with about 80 people, swelled to 350, 78 of those being kids! The problem wasn't getting people to come, it was finding them a place to sit!
Miraculously God provided...there was enough food for everyone and left overs for our servants to eat afterwards, and even enough to take some home! Our plan was for everyone to donate enough food for 250 people, in the end God had miraculously multiplied it, not just to barely pull it off, but to overflowing amounts!
But more than just food, hope was served...miraculously God changed lives. People heard the life changing message of the gospel and 45 people gave their life to the Lord! For others, hope was restored and renewed. They found true hope and now their lives will never be the same. I was blessed to see the members of Hope Metro truly live out their identity as messengers of hope. They overflowed God's love through their outreaches, their invitations and their heart to serve those who came to the banquet.
Many more miracles to come...In January, Pastor Nolan said that 2013 would be "a year of miracles". Tonight we saw that become reality...and this is only the second month of an amazing year ahead of us.