Last night, Encounter was intense to say the least. It was hard hitting truth and was very powerful. I can’t speak for last year, but this week was probably the most intense gathering this year, and many students were moved by the events of the evening. To me, it seemed like a very vertical night, lifting straight up to God the few hours of worship, study, and music. It was that way with the photos I took last night as well.
For some reason I took a good percentage of vertical images last night and in keeping with the theme, all the images below are vertically oriented this time. To see the entire shoot from last night please visit the Grace Campus Ministry with Encounter gallery [the full set of images should be uploaded by 12-1pm today]. On a side note, I did finally get to meet an online friend of mine, Stephen DeVries, who had just returned from a documentary trip to Haiti. It was great to meet you Stephen, I hope we can get together again real soon.
So what made last night more intense than other nights? I think it was just the atmosphere of the week. Grace showed a moving video about a boy named Eliot (see Creative Chaos 28 // Dear Eliot Video, 99 Balloons, and Brave Parents), and half the people in the room were moved to tears. After some scripture, Matt Dean (seen below) told the story and testimony of Cindy Wall who passed away on Wednesday. Cindy worked in the Auburn Athletics department as a trainer for 17 years, and it wasn’t until Matt started telling the story again did I realize that some on campus probably knew who she was, but may not have known the whole story. I took the image above of Matt speaking about her life’s most wonderful testimony.
The image you see on the screen in the upper left was one I took the night of her baptism. She has such pure joy on her face, and I had seen the photo many times before, yet it wasn’t until I looked at the image on the screen and heard the reaction from the students that it hit me. She was here and gone in my life in a blink of an eye and her life was now a testimony of faith to these students, who were now grieving.
Life is not always fun and games (although I try to make it that way) and there are needed nights like this to show real examples of living faith, to students who may not have a direction or a faith in Jesus. The difference in life and death, and the faith, hope, and love of Jesus could be found and felt last night. It had nothing to do with the video, the photo, the music, or the people involved, but the presence of the Lord in the house.