11:03 a.m. It might be Romania’s largest game of beach ball volleyball! Young men on unicycles are circling the arena as adults and children punch beach balls around in the crowd.
A rock band made up entirely of teenagers walks onstage. They’re dancing and clapping as they sing with guitar music and drums to their song, “All the Kids Praise the Lord.”
11:15 a.m. About 40 young girls, wearing white shirts and jeans and waving colorful flags with both hands, are dancing in the grass in front of the stage to the band’s song. The words say, “Friends, in good times and in bad, our hope is in Jesus.”
Two teams of teenage boy soccer players start a game in front of the stage. One team wears white shirts, and the other black; they’re team Hope and team Lightning. It’s an act, but the game is good. Their feet are so quick.
Team Lighting plays dirty, knocking members of team Hope to the ground. But it’s no use; more than 7,000 kids are on their feet around the stadium cheering for team Hope. And they win, 4 to 2.
11:25 a.m. The teams climb onstage, and three members of team Hope, whose names are Love, Joy, and Peace, give their jerseys to three members of team Lighting, whose names are Hate, Anger, and Thief.
Maybe their generosity will show team Lightning some good character traits. It’s a cute lesson.
11:32 a.m. The emcee steps onstage and picks up a guitar. His song is upbeat and funny. It says, “Bad kids are mean.” Ha ha! Yes, that’s true.
Kids around the arena are singing along with his next song, which says, “Lord, help me to live faithfully.” The drummer could not be more than 12-years-old, but he is rocking!
11:47 a.m. Now, a drama is beginning onstage. Four kids are singing and dancing. They stop to talk: “Life is like a puzzle,” they say. “But God is the Creator, and He knows our lives.”
The backdrop is a puzzle, but not all the pieces are there yet. As the drama progresses, new characters bring out new pieces of the puzzle.
The main character is a young girl in a red skirt and t-shirt. She asks some good questions such as, “I cannot see God, so how can He love me?”
With time, she learns from other characters, “God sent Jesus Christ so that people could understand what God is like.”
She also collects all the pieces of the puzzle, and the completed picture is an illustration of Jesus, greeting children from all over the world. Jesus loves children.
12:21 p.m. At the invitation, many children walk forward with their friends, older siblings, and parents. Danny, a local pastor in Timisoara, invites those who walked forward to kneel on the grass.
Danny has two children of his own, and he has helped plant several churches in villages around Timisoara. We spoke with him earlier.
Now young people in front of the platform are on their knees praying along with Danny. After the prayer, volunteer counselors, who have completed hours of training before the Festival, speak with the children and give bags to each child who prayed to receive Jesus Christ.
The bags contain materials written especially for children as well as a kid’s version of the Gospel of John in the New Testament. More than 1,400 kids surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ today.