Twin Cities Festival 2004 w/Luis Palau


Saturday, August 7th of 2004 Report

Wow, it was awesome to see a positive event yesterday in my former birth city of St. Paul. Yesterday, I attended the "Twin Cities Festival" with a couple of young men from Morris, MN! The younger men (Cory) of the two that I mentor first went with me to a FREE (thanks to Conroy family, who won it at KMRS's radio show earlier last week) Twins Game (beat Oakland A's 4-3). We sat by a dad and son from Farwell, MN. They were there for a FREE game too, which we told them about the Twin Cities Festival. The older man (dad?) heard about the "religious" festival with Christian Rock Music as he told us.

We picked up the older guy (Neil, UMM Student), who wanted to attend the even because of Hezekiah Walker. Being in Morris long, upbeat Gospel music gets longed for! We first walked around the entire State Capitol Grounds to look for a particular UMM connection-Coach Doug Reese, who was told of promoting his new book "To the Next Level" (see sports). After checking out the different vendors and booths, we walked over to the "Sports Zone", but couldn't find him there (particularly the Fellowship of Christian Athletes ten). During our search, Cory was able to publicize his "See You At the Party 2005" t-shirt, which several folks ended up asking about it by the end of the day! Later on at main stage, 3 Twins baseball players (Corey Koskie, Matt Lecroy, and ?) appeared before Hezekiah Walker performed! Of the 3, Corey shared his testimony how he felt the need of God more playing major league baseball. He joins 7-8 fellow teammates every Sunday to read the Bible, fellowship, and pray since they can't attend "church services" as they have games most of the time.

Neil was persevering in getting up-front to get close to the main stage in time for Hezekiah Walker around 6pm. By the time "Jump 5" ended their aerobic-gymnastic-dancing performance, we were about 10 feet from the main stage. One of the songs that I really like was something like this....

"I'll pray for you, you pray for me...I need you to survive"

Walker and his Love Fellowship Choir got the crowd very into it by having us ask our neighbors to say this to each other. In the middle of the concert, I had to leave my nearby front stage position to lead Cory out to a nearby Porta Potti. When I came back I was about 50-70 feet or so from the front stage when this song (up above) was performed towards the end of the concert. I was next to this younger Caucasian brother in Christ of mine. We had to sing this to each other, but we gave a brotherly fist goodbye and smiled. This young man seem he was really appreciative of this interactiveness with the audience members during this song or the whole concert of Walker!

After the concert, Luis Palau gave the "Good News" message targeting the younger (predominate Caucasian-Norwegian, German, Scandinavian, etc..) crowd. He shared about the "safest sex", which is "no" (abstinence) sex! At the end of the message, he gave an invitation to accept Jesus as your personal savior or to rededicate youself to Him! Many young people around me raised their hands as Counselors came over to follow-up on the youth that responded. During this, a young "wake" (surfer) boarder was being interviewed on camera. In fact, being up front of the stage, cameras were all over the place!

Today (Sunday, August 8th), I'm planning to attend Day 2 of this event with Neil and Cory!...

Tuesday, August 9th

Day 2 was even better (warmer, sunnier-opposite of the forecasted Thunderstorms, and bigger-God's in control!), which reported more people (120,000) compared to (80,000) yesterday! Cory, Neil, and I were hearing a gospel group as we were entering the festival. This got Neil very enthused as we walked faster torwards the stage. Unfortunately, the hotter weather got to Cory early, which he didn't want to get as close last minute. By the time Cory told me this, Neil already was way ahead of us that we lost him in the dense crowd in front of the main stage. Cory and I went to a more shadier area-behind the food court between the skateboard park. It was very sunny and hot, so we found a small shady area with pockets of people taking refuge by the trees. Cory look exhausted, so he got a bottle of water and came back to take a nap. I decided to go back to the front stage to look for Neil. When I got up close (50 feet from main stage, further then yesterday) to the main stage, I couldn't find Neil amongst the majority white Caucasian crowd. Steve Baldwin, a Hollywood actor turned active Christian actor, shared his awesome "orchestrated" testimony (movie celebrities) on how he got into his current ministry career. When he shared, the audience was very quiet and motionless as his story captivated many listeners up front. I decided to just stay still in my place in the crowd and look for Neil later. After his testimony time, I continued to search for Neil up front. Then David Leuben, a Fargo-native, began to lead the crowd into a deep worship time. I felt God wanted me to savor the moment and not worry in trying to find Neil. I really got into worship as I stood there raising my hands in the air-along with many others. There was one upbeat song that got some folks in front of me to dance and jump. I jumped a little with them for awhile myself! Then I started to remember that Cory was still back there waiting for me, so I left towards the end of the worship service.

Crowd got Bigger!

When I got back to the shaded area behind the food court, I was awe of the increase size of the crowd that took refuge of the shaded area by the nearby trees. It like quadrupled (sp?) less than an hour I was gone! Pretty much the whole grassy area of the southern part of the State Capitol Grounds was covered with people! I had to find Cory amongst the crowd as I found him still napping. I sat by him and continued to enjoy the "live" concert from the main stage by watching it in the jumbotron. Casting Crowns took the stage around 5:30p and sang some familiar songs that I've heard in the radio before-I didn't know they sang them before! For example, one of the songs that I really liked was, "If we are the body, where is the feet..."

Salvation Message Time

I saw the results of prayer before and during this special time! Last night, about 3,000 (2,000 more in an earlier outreach) was reported in filling out those dedication-rededication cards. Tonight, the same number would be reported (just found out yesterday-Monday, August 9th at the local christian station in Alexandria)! I was interceding in prayer during this time as I wanted to do my part in this "outreach". It brought memories when I served as a counselor in 2000 when Luis Palau came to Fargo, ND. About 11,000 showed up the last night of a 3-day Crusade there one weekend that year. It was a night that focussed on youth as bands like Sonicflood and Newsboys performed. During the salvation prayer (led by Luis), Neil finally calls me on trying to find me. I hesitated at first about answering it, but I thought this might be the best time for him to find us. Unfortunately, we never came together until past 10pm where we designated a particular spot after the event! While I was standing by the area that I was hoping Neil would find me or the other way around, I was still in prayer for the counselors during this time. I was moved to see Counselors (in blue t-shirts with a cool cap) talking to individuals around the vicinity!

End with a Big Bang!

After the quiet time during the follow-up of the salvation response invitation after Luis Palau's message ("Come to Me" on taking God's invitation to Heaven), 2 more bands played on. The first was Toby Mac (formerly with the famous 80's-90's pop band-DC Talk), who brought a lot of energy to the big crowd! In fact, while watching the jumbotron behind the food court, I notice people dancing and getting into the music all the way to the end of the southernmost grassy area of the State Capitol Grounds! Cory enjoyed joking with this little kid next to us during this. Toby Mac mixed some songs from his old DC Talk days (e.g. Jesus Freak) with some of his new ones. This brought some old memories again when I attended the Billy Graham Crusade at the Metrodome in 1996 (see portfolio). I attended the Sunday event that weekend when Amy Grant performed, but my brother and sister attended the Saturday event when DC Talk was there. It was funny back then, my brother and sister first introduced me to DC Talk. I wasn't into the music scene as they were growing-up! Around past 9pm, Cory and I decided to move up behind the main stage to see if we could talk to Toby Mac. Cory wanted to see if he could talk him into performing at See You At the Party 2005 in Alexandria to help Mark-co-organizer of this yearly New Year's Eve-New Year's Event. We sat on the Capitol steps and was able to see the whole crowd across the mall or capitol grounds. Unfortunately, Cory wasn't able to talk to Toby Mac, but I give him credit for trying! Third Day was going to be the next peformance, which Cory and I were already to leave. We decided to wait in the area Neil was going to meet us at 10p. We waited and waited, which we found out later that Neil was up by the front stage getting into the Third Day concert.

Is that the End?

It was around 10:15pm when Neil walked over to our meeting area-carrying bottles of water (got them free). Neil shared some awesome stories of people he met, which I thought was Godly divine! He told me a former UMM Residential Director (Indy Hall) tapped him on the shoulders, which I told him I thought I saw him too! We were happy to see him there as I told him that my friends-family in Christ have been praying for him in the past. Also, a former UMM student-brother in Christ and his family were by the main stage for the gospel group. He saw them right when we lost each other in the beginning of the concert. I told Neil that I saw him a couple months ago working at concessions serving food at the Metrodome at a Twins game. Lastly, he met a body builder by the Sports Zone area sharing God's goodness with him that encourage his faith!

My Personal Reflection

Wow, we really had a good time despite being separated most of the concert. I learned more about God's divine "orchestrated" plan of putting specific people in our lives. As I write this today (Tuesday, August 10th), I'm learning more and more of his "divine appointments" and timing each day. We just need to be in tuned and ask God why he brings these people to us! I'm glad to bring Cory and Neil with me to this event as I learn to have as much people be bless while I get bless! I've know Neil off and on as God has brought him in my view through many Christian events-particularly reaching out to the African American population through Alpha & Omega (multicultural campus ministry at UMM from 98'-00'). This whole weekend would've been very boring if I didn't invite anybody with me. My challenge to you the reader, ask God how can you be a blessing to the people He has put in your life.

Praise Reports:

-awesome weather: I checked the weather before going to the concert on Sunday, which I was a little down that we might have to leave early. However, I prayed too because I remember God changed the weather for UMM's Gospel Explosion back in 1999! Well, He did it! There was no thunderstorms and the show went on-praise God! Can I hear an Amen?
"Leaders of the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association sent out an international e-mail prayer chain late Saturday, asking people around the world to pray for good weather Sunday, the second and last day of the Twin Cities Festival. They got it."-from Assist Ministries
-800+ churches with 7,000 volunteers worked together (John 17) in unity to make this event possible!
-"St. Paul police spokesman Paul Schnell said there were no incidents reported other than routine medical problems and minor traffic congestion"-from Pioneer Press (8/10/04)
-I was listening to the local christian station from Osakis-101.5 "Praise FM" on Monday, August 9th (slept in after arriving around 1:30am with Cory and Neil in Morris) around 2:45p, which a lady (Debra?) shared her experience on the festival (she was there for a pre-festival event and Saturday only). It was encouraging to hear her enthusiasm of this event! Below is an e-mail I submitted to Praise FM's Share Your Story...
"I just finished my personal report-testimony

http://www.angelfire.com/mn/saldapal/twincities.luispalau04.html

of my weekend at the Twin Cities Festival with some Morris friends (teenager and UMM college graduate). There is soo.. much to share from this event that I had to write it down in a website linked to my personal homepage, so I can remember God's goodness in rough times ahead. God not only touched the Twin Cities, but people all over-including Morris! A teenager and a recent UMM college graduate (Class of 2004) came along with me (Class of 1999). I wanted to call on Monday when you (around 2:45 pm 8/9/04) invited listeners to share after Debra (name?) called in her report, but I was on my way to work (group home, which I called in a prayer request about my job earlier this year-thanks-we now have weekly Bible Studies at the corporate office!)! I hope we don't forget God's goodness through events like these in the future!
-I personally was encouraged to see the different ethnic groups the Twin Cities represents in this festival. It brought a smile to me as I too have a heart to see the Good News shared to "all nations"
-thanks to local Twin Cities media (news stations and newspapers-Pioneer Press and Star Tribune) for a positive coverage, which I feel contributed to the larger crowd on Sunday after people might have read the Sunday morning paper on this awesome event!

>Prayer Requests

-follow-up!, which I know the volunteers that are calling the 10,000 + responders need prayer. I worked as follow-up coordinator for See You at the Party both in Morris and Alexandria, which is hard work!
-

  • Lord's Watch-Prayer Covering, list from prayer transformations

  • Recommended Resources

    LOCAL

    Articles

  • First the message now 'the call', from Pioneer Press (Posted on Tue, Aug. 10, 2004)

  • ""We had 10,400 people who made a decision in the Twin Cities, over twice as many as any previous two-day domestic festival,'' said Craig Chastain, a spokesman for the worldwide Palau festivals."
  • Massive Twin Cities Update, from Luis Palau website-resources

  • " * A business and civic leaders luncheon attended by Governor Tim Pawlenty and a host of city and state leadership. The Governor told the crowd of 1200 that he had prayed "that God will bless this weekend and continue to bless this great state." The audience was hushed during the stirring testimony of Lawson Software CEO Jay Coughlan, and over 400 attendees made decisions for Christ after Luis' message of hope.
    *included Minnesota Wild (hockey team) Owner Robert O. Naegele, Jr> and Lawson Software President Jay Coughlan
  • "Pawlenty endorses Palau evangelism festival", from Star Tribune (August 5, 2004 )

  • "To the crowd, Pawlenty said: "I'm proud to be associated with such an important faith event. Faith is an important glue that holds our state together." A member of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, he told the crowd that he had prayed "that God will bless this weekend and continue to bless this great state."
  • THOUSANDS DECIDE FOR JESUS CHRIST AT LUIS PALAU TWIN CITIES FESTIVAL, from Assist News

  • "“Saturday, as the dark clouds loomed and thickened, a small band of intercessors gathered at the entrance of the prayer tent with their arms extended asking the Lord for a ‘bubble’ of protection over the Capitol grounds, and asking that the weather would not interfere with the Festival.,” said Steve Loopstra, executive director of Prayer Transformation Ministries, based in nearby Minneapolis."
  • TWIN CITIES FESTIVAL WITH LUIS PALAU WRAPS TW0-DAY PRAISE PARTY, from Luis Palau-Twin Cities Report
  • Artists

    Hezekiah Walker

    "Hezekiah Walker- Souled Out {LIVE}"
    -Hezekiah Walker Music and Discussion, from Gnoosic
    -Hezekiah Walker Family Affair II-Radio City Recording, from gospel flava

    Testimonies

    Author: Chris G. of Glenwood, MN
    *met him at a small "UMM Aluni Reunion" get-together through a UMM Alumn friend (Erin A.) at Pizza Ranch (1st)=>Common Cup.
    Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:33 PM

    "I grew up in a Christian family. We went to Church every Saturday, Sunday, or Wednesday, every Easter, Christmas, or whatever Christian holiday. I even went to Sunday school and to a youth group on Wednesdays. However, we did not talk about Jesus at home, just at Church. I was a confessing atheist, I told everyone at youth group and at school that there is no God, but they didn't think nothing of it because even though they called themselves Christians, they still weren't Christians. My aunt was, however, a Christian. She invited my family and I to a Luis Palau Festival at the Minnesota state capitol building in St. Paul. I rose my hand to receive Christ. I was 15 years old turning 16 years old soon. A tall African American man, named Chuck, read to me the first few verses in the book of John chapter 1, Then he asked me if I wanted to believe in God, I seriously just broke down crying and I gave the guy a hug, then he said the angels in heaven are now rejoicing because of your decision. So the pastor at the new church we went to found out I became am actual Christian, so he mentored me, then the church started a youth group. I went to that and got discipled there as well. But I was confused because I saw all these christians at church and youth group and they lived in the grey zone, not the black or white zone, I know no one is perfect not christians either, but I saw most of it as blatant hypocrisy. I sort of was a hypocrite too because I started to go to church and youth group to get girls. I didn't know what sin really was when the bible told me to repent of my sins and that Jesus payed for the sins of mine. I knew right from wrong in my conscience, but it was full of grey areas and only a few black and white zones. I didn't know what the standard was to determine whether or not if something was sin or not. I would say recently I actually found out God's standard, sins are recognized by breaking the Ten Commandments, God's Moral Law. So, maybe I just reached a more mature state in my christian walk but whatever it is, The Ten Commandments really woke me up and showed my sins in the True Light. I still fall into sin, and struggle with it, I am not perfect, but I have turned from sins that I hung on to for a while. Sin is my enemy and I want it gone forever but it still knocks at my door every day waiting to devour me. I don't really know if I was actually saved at the Luis Palau Festival or not, but now I am sure of it. Glory to God."

    Christopher

    NATION

    Salvation Message

    How Much Sin Will Jesus Forgive? - Luis Palau

    "Luis Palau speaks at BeachFest which I went to in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It was awesome!"

    Xtreme Sports

    Luis Palau

    "Bike Show "

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