The weekend weather forecast for Clinton, Miss., predicted a gloomy outcome, but things outside shaped up Saturday morning to provide a sunny backdrop perfect for outdoor fun.
But the real fun happened indoors at KidzFest, an evangelistic program geared specifically for children that was done in conjunction with the Central Mississippi Will Graham Celebration. More than 1,500 people gathered for KidzFest inside A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College, the site of the Celebration.
It was also a hallmark day for BGEA’s Children and Youth Evangelism ministry, as The Greatest Journey came to life on stage. The Greatest Journey is a Bible study for children that follows the adventures of two main characters, Jacob and Jordan.
Young actors played the parts of Jacob and Jordan. While the story they acted out on stage is fiction, their hearts for the Gospel are very real.
Holden Scott (“Jacob”) is happy to have such a fun way to help people hear the truth: “It’s really cool how we can get on stage and share the love of Jesus and see people make decisions for Christ because of what they learn from what we do on stage.”
Chelsy Roy (“Jordan”) agrees.
“Some kids in the audience might be confused about God, or they might not know who Jesus is, and this is a good way to spread the Gospel,” she said.
Chad Miller, Director of Children and Youth Evangelism Training for BGEA, explained that the live event Saturday—dubbed The Greatest Journey Live—is an extension of the mission of BGEA: for as many people as possible—kids in this case—to hear and respond to the Gospel.
“It’s so humbling to think of all the people involved in making this very first The Greatest Journey Live event happen here in Clinton,” Miller said. “Will has been excited about this entire KidzFest event for some time, but we’re really encouraged to see The Greatest Journey come to life!”
Go Fish, a band that makes “great music for kids that won’t drive parents bonkers,” led the music for KidzFest.
Go Fish was accompanied by a choir of nearly 500 children representing 28 local churches.
The children had been learning and practicing Go Fish’s songs for several weeks leading up to KidzFest.
Go Fish has performed at several BGEA events, and they have a common mission.
“This is our fourth or fifth event with BGEA,” said lead singer Jamie Statema. “Just like Will, our goal is to share God’s truth with the next generation. We can’t keep it to ourselves.”
After the last set of music by Go Fish, Will Graham ascended the stage to give a short Gospel presentation and invite people—kids, parents and grandparents—to surrender their lives to Christ.
As many children flooded the open floor space where counselors waited, Will said, “All the angels are having a big party in heaven.”
Wanda McCurdy, KidzFest Coordinator for BGEA, said that all the planning and hard work that culminated with KidzFest was well worth it.
“At any of our events, I usually get a lump in my throat when people start walking forward at the invitation. I am usually able to stifle the tears, but not today,” she said.
“Will made the Gospel simple. The kids heard it, understood it and responded. And that’s why we do this.”