Festival follow-up with area churches is the unseen benefit from events like this. Once the core BGEA staff leaves and the cameras and media go elsewhere, the discipleship of young believers starts in earnest. It takes the coordinated effort of lots of local congregations to pull off a festival event and when it’s over, those churches reach out to the new Christians to offer them a place of community and love.
While Spirit has definitely been moving this weekend, the people of Taiwan also believe in moving their bodies. Believe it or not, this afternoon’s festivities began with some rousing aerobics. Led by a team of choreographed drummers and dancers, the routine got the blood flowing. Not even the humid temperatures and sticky air slowed this group down.
The high energy continued with another appearance from Chaos On Wheels, followed by the Home of Christ worship band. Made up of various actors, actresses and singers from all over Taiwan, these fun folks, you guessed it, sang and danced all over the stage.
A duo of male actors, Uncle Sun and David Tao, Sr. came out and entertained the crowd with a mix of humorous tunes, both in Mandarin and English. Sunday’s fun facts? David’s son, David Jr., played an acoustic set for the youth last night. David Sr. also led Uncle Sun to the Lord. That’s been a recurring theme amongst the various celebrities who have performed here. It’s amazing to see so many who are involved in the entertainment business who also proclaim Jesus as their savior.
Mr. Agajanian, John and Annie Barbour, Huntley Brown and Black Pearl all just finished performing. Black Pearl took it to the house with a gospel-infused rendition of “Oh Happy Day.” The choir also sang with the orchestra and a female soloist with an impressive range. Even here, at the end of the week, I still can’t get over the sight of seeing the massive staircases behind the stage covered with a multitude of local vocalists.
Now Heavenly Melody is back in full effect. Their first tune was rather subdued, but a song about God’s hands being bigger than ours soon followed. Appropriately enough, both adults and young kids sang it. Given the enthusiasm of the toddlers involved, the cuteness factor was definitely on overload.
Tsai Chin just finished serenading the audience and the Tommy Coomes Band is setting up for their final performance of the festival. They’re singing “The Lord’s Prayer” and “My Hope.” Even though they’ve already sung these songs before on previous nights, it’s still incredibly moving to see the response of the crowd when they sing some of the verses in Mandarin. There is something deep and powerful that is bridged when you communicate with someone in his mother tongue. It’s a beautiful sight.
“What a wonderful night we’ve had!”
Franklin is on stage, reminiscing about the happenings of the week. He begins by thanking the chairmen and committees who helped make this festival possible. He then thanks the churches, which he said provided an army of volunteers. He also gave gratitude to the choir, the counselors and the staff of the BGEA.
Franklin continued by talking a bit about his personal connection, through Ruth, to China. He revealed that he grew up having Chinese food constantly and that she forced them to eat it with chopsticks, no forks.
He then opened the Bible to the story of Nicodemus, in John 3:1-5.
“He was an intellectual. He had a high moral standing. He had a great reputation in the community. and he was a religious man. He comes to Jesus under the cover of darkness. I’m not sure he wanted to be seen with Jesus. He was concerned with political correctness. Jesus was a controversial person.
“He couldn’t sleep. He was troubled in his soul. Many of you have come tonight, like Nicodemus, troubled in your soul. Whatever is wrong, I’m here to tell you that Jesus is the answer. You can come to Christ. That’s what Nicodemus did. I’m going to invite you in a few moments.”
Invite them he did and did they ever answer! Over 1,200 people made commitments to Jesus tonight. For the entire festival, over 9,600 responded to the call of new life in Christ. What an incredible week it’s been here in Taipei. We praise God for all that has happened.