Looking for something uplifting, Jesse started listening to a local Christian radio station. He heard an ad for Decision Texas: The Lone Star Tour in Round Rock.
Hmmmm, he thought. Crowder. Franklin Graham. Fireworks.
But coming from 30 minutes south, the 38-year-old was running late on Monday evening and missed the music altogether. And the start of Franklin Graham’s message.
As he walked up to a throng of 8,000-plus people listening to a Gospel message in the parking lot of Dell Diamond—home of the AAA Texas Rangers—the first words that became audible almost stopped him in his tracks.
“He started talking about sin and stealing and lying and then adultery,” Jesse said. “That really got me, especially the adultery part.”
Turns out, infidelity was a part of Jesse’s past many years ago, and one that he was desperate to move past but just couldn’t. Christian radio was helping lift his spirits, but he still lacked true peace in his heart.
“Regardless what the sin is, we are all guilty,” said Franklin Graham. “But God will forgive you tonight.”
Jesse came forward by himself and wept.
Standing on the cold asphalt—surrounded by a sea of other Texans making life-changing decisions—he surrendered his life to Christ Monday night, just before the fireworks shot off.
“This is the most important decision you’ll ever make in your life,” Franklin Graham said. “There are fireworks in heaven tonight, I’ll tell you that.”
That was nothing compared to what was going on inside Jesse’s heart.
“I feel free—and a lot lighter,” said Jesse. “I just feel different.”
God’s timing, he realized, is never late.
“I guess I got here a little late,” Jesse said, “but it turned out to be right on time to hear that message.”
Parking Lot Revival
So, meeting on black asphalt, sitting on lawn chairs in between yellow lines may not be the most memorable way to hold a prayer meeting.
Not so fast, says Joanne Odom.
Driving in 3 ½ hours from a Houston suburb, Odom was all set to come to Austin for Franklin Graham’s 50-state capital tour in 2016. But she came down sick the day of the event.
So, when Decision Texas: The Lone Star Tour was announced, Joanne and her husband Clark studied the schedule and were deciding between the Longview stop on Thursday and Round Rock Monday.
“I wanted to make sure I was healthy this time,” Joanne said. “I’m looking forward to lots of souls being saved or at least introduced to the Gospel.”
Then Hurricane Harvey struck Houston.
Joanne and Clark watched her backyard fill up with 35 inches of rain. Her church flooded so bad, they moved church outdoors the following Sunday. Some church members lost everything they owned. “It’s so torn up,” she said of the Houston area.
Both the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team and Samaritan’s Purse plan to be in the Houston area long term to help the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of the community.
“We worshiped God in our parking lot and it was so cool to see God’s majesty around us, we decided to do it once a year,” Joanne said.
So back to Decision Texas. And Longview vs. Round Rock.
The schedule worked out better for Round Rock. And what did she find when she showed up?
Church on a blacktop. Stripes and all.
“I can’t wait to tell them,” Joanne’s eyes got wide, “we got to worship on a parking lot again.”
It’s not too late to join the Decision Texas Tour. See Franklin Graham and Crowder live from Waco on Wednesday or Longview on Thursday.