It is surreal to think encounter will be ending in a few weeks. For about 7 years, my weeks have revolved around thursday nights. The community known as grace campus, has been meeting on thursdays nights around 8:30 since 2002. The journey has been amazing. What began as the worship overflow of several small groups is now approaching a significant turning point in its history.
I can remember the first night at encounter. We met in Langdon Hall on Auburn's campus. Around 60 people were there. I remember being scared and nervous. I remember the message I spoke on about grace. I remember breathing deeply and diving in to what would be some of the most amazing memories of my life so far. I remember setting up for that night, how much trash was in the room, and how the group of us there didn't care, we just wanted encounter to be as good as it could be. Serving together towards a goal greater than ourselves was enough to keep us focused on Him.
Turns out, things like production, excellence, planning, etc -- aren't prerequisite for God to move. It was rough in many ways -- but the heart of it all shined through. In simple terms, we wanted to invite people to worship God for who He is and what He has done on behalf for those who believe.
Grace for glory.
The journey from Langdon Hall, to the Auburn University Chapel, to the AUMC Youth Room, to the AUMC Epworth Center, to the AUMC Sanctuary, to Lakeview Baptist, and finally back on campus in the Auburn University Student Center is one I will carry in my heart forever. In so many ways, I see these years as a gift, for me to experience God in ways I never could have imagined.
To think about how many lives have walked through the doors, each one with the potential to change the world in the name of Jesus, to think about how many holy moments have occurred that no one will ever know about, to think about those who have listened in via podcasts, to wonder how many prayers of confession and adoration have been expressed, how many anthems and hymns of praise have been raised to our Father, to think about the people in countries around the world who are different because someone from the grace campus community touched their lives, these priceless memories live on in the unending story of God.
I want to thank everyone who has been a part of the journey so far, for those who have given financially, prayed faithfully, served selflessly, participated consistently, volunteered tirelessly, and for those of you found a community here at Auburn in grace campus, thank you.
As I prepare for one of the most unpredicted messages in my life thursday night, I am filled with joy at the thought of being able to look back, and really see what God has done. The greatest part of it, is that we can't even calculate what God has been orchestrating through this little community of faith in Auburn. To think He would call some of us, to leave here, and go to Hong Kong, and serve there? Wow. To think that many more will remain here, and in time, leave Auburn for wherever is next, I pray each of you will give your lives for the namesake of Jesus, saying yes to Him... wherever that leads.