Friday, July 28, 2006


Well, CHIC was an amazing experience, much better than I ever thought it could be! To be surrounded by 57oo people who are all from the same denomination and who all believe the same thing is a cool experience. I met people from Massachussets to Mississippi to Oregon to Alaska. Each night they also had an optional ethnic celebration with a worship time in that ethnic style and then some food from that culture. I went to almost all of them. :) The best parts were white water rafting and the nightly mainstage sessions. At the mainstage sessions it was awesome to be surrounded by that many other people all singing the same songs together and praising God!
At one point during CHIC I was told that I'm going to be a pastor. I had met an African American pastor from Mississippi one evening, and I saw him again the next day. When I saw him then he came up to me and said, "You're going to be a preacher." I wasn't really planning on doing that, but I'll certainly think about it carefully now. We talked a little bit and he seemed very insightful, telling me to follow my heart. I'm not quite sure what to think, but I'm sure not going to take what he said lightly...

I went on two excursions while I was at CHIC. The first one was white water rafting (no pictures of that) and the second was a hike in the Smokies. It was beautiful up there, and I got some good shots of the waterfall we hiked to.

One reason I thought the mainstage was cool was because of how high tech and complicated it seemed (I love computers , tech, and stuff like that). They had two big screens on either side of the stage, and the back of the stage is made up of big screen divided in four sections. They had at least six video cameras in the arena and they had the lighting and everything. The first part each night was more of a performance with the lights, extremely loud music , and graphics on the screens.
Here's a better shot of the stage. This was the night they had a rap group come in. Some of the artists that played at CHIC (not necessarily on the mainstage, though), were Falling Up, Hawk Nelson, Grits, Family Force 5, Bethany Dillon, Salvador, and Lost and Found.
Hawk Nelson performing on the outdoor stage. It was the first time I've heard them, but I thought they were pretty good.

Each morning after small group sessions we went to a focus session. There were some great options, including one with Lost and Found and one with the producer of the latest X-Men movie. I went to one on apologetics, one about Covenant World Relief, and one about an Indian man's journey from Hinduism to Christianity besides the one pictured above. This was the last one I went to, where an artist painted two portriats of Jesus. The first one took about 20 or 25 minutes and the second one less than 10 minutes. It's amazing how they're done, and he painted a couple while one of the speakers was talking during a mainstage session. It's really cool!

Here's the first one he did for us. He incorporates many Christian elements and from the beginning you really can't tell what the final portrait will look like.

Here's the group of us that went from Salem Covenant Church. We drove together in a bus 20 hours there and 20 back. (Buses are horrible to sleep on.)

Another picture from my hike.

The stage before the mainstage session actually started. The first night the countdown until it (the mainstage and CHIC) began was really fun. And very loud and exciting, because we were sitting right underneath one of two banks of speakers.
I think that God worked a lot in the lives of the people who attended CHIC. If even half of them that stood up in the arena indicating a call to the ministry in some form actually did go into the ministry, we could make a big change in the world. As it was we did; we packed well over half a million meals to send to Sudan and we raised just over $100,000 for Covenant World Relief. There were also many people that came to know the Lord during one of the mainstage sessions.

And ending on a fun note, here I am with a very good friend that I know from Zaire. :)


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