Tornado watches, pouring rain, plummeting temperatures—not exactly ideal conditions for this year’s Fall Festival, our church’s largest OUTDOOR, outreach event.
But we serve a God who works all things for our good and His glory, so that’s exactly what He did.
As our Outreach team here at Gospel saw the forecast wasn’t changing, we hashed out a last minute plan to move the event indoors. To say we had no idea what to expect was an understatement. Would people come in droves because trick or treating wasn’t a real option? Or would no one come because of the bad weather? We had never done an indoor event like this before; would it even work? Would there be enough Little Debbie cakes and candy?
Volunteer arrival time came. They showed up with huge smiles and unmatched enthusiasm and joy. They transformed the church in a Cinderella-kind-of-way with decorations, games, and their infectious passion. As the time to open the doors came, we wondered if anyone would be there? The answer was a resounding YES! There was a long line! In our neighbors came, by the HUNDREDS!
The night was in a word “joyful.” Smiles everywhere. For hours, the volunteers poured themselves out in a way that conveyed this was exactly the place they wanted to be on Halloween night. The feedback from those who attended was so positive. They had fun, and they felt loved!
For all we prepped and planned for the Fall Festival, ultimately the Lord worked it out better than we could have imagined. Inviting our neighborhood into the church instead of just the parking lot was like inviting our neighbors into our home instead of the yard. Many who came had never been inside our church building—or perhaps any church! And, as the church, we had the opportunity to show Biblical hospitality (love of neighbors) in a big way.
As far as the supply of Little Debbie cakes and candy that you all helped us with? What may not have seemed like enough earlier in the day turned out to be exactly enough! The Little Debbie boxes lasted the whole evening of cake-walking—in fact, the last box was handed out just as we were ending! Of the thousands of pieces of candy handed out, only two small bowls remained.