A New YearOctober 2nd, 2013
Two of my favorite words at the beginning of the HeartSong year are Brownsburg, Indiana. “Why?” you may ask. These two words describe a place and a time that is unparalleled all year. Brownsburg is the home of Bethesda Baptist Church where HeartSong has the privilege to train for about two and a half days. When we arrive at Brownsburg, the teams load in their equipment and before you know it we leave with our host homes. For many people this is their first experience with a host home and learning how to interact with a host family can be challenging, but it also provides a wonderful avenue to get to know the other team member you are staying with. This year I had the privilege of staying with Miss Hayley Gray. One of my favorite parts of staying at our host home occurred when we were sitting around the living room and we started telling our testimonies. It was a very encouraging time to share in fellowship with other believers.
Learning how to stay with a host is an essential part of training but not the only thing we train on. Music and stage training usually takes over all of Friday. We learn everything from how to set sound to projection, lighting, and trussing. Also during that day we have to fit in music practice. Intense practice. We learn as much as we possibly can. This part can be extremely overwhelming. When I started last year I know my head was spinning with the amount of information that was being poured into me. This year it was much easier to handle and I was able to enjoy it so much more.
As intense as the music practice can be, we also take time to listen to the Life Maps, or life stories, of Jim, Brandon, and Chloe. These times are probably one of my favorite things about Brownsburg. We get to hear about the lives of the three wonderful people we have the privilege of learning from all year. It is a time to hear of God’s redemptive work in their lives and also to be able to pray over each other them.
Saturday we tear down all the equipment set up for the Sunday service and practice the worship music for Sunday. Then we celebrate that we survived the hard part! It is a great time for all the teams to be together and to fellowship.
Even though all of the things I listed are wonderful, the best part of the weekend is listening to Brandon talk about the gospel. Sunday morning during the Sunday school hour we listen to Brandon. Even though I listened to this last year, Brandon communicated the gospel is such a clear way, I felt like I was hearing it for the first time. He spoke about how the gospel is what truly changes people’s lives. One of my favorite quotes he used was this “The gospel is that you are more wicked and sinful than you ever dared believe, but you are also at the same time more loved and accepted than you ever dared hope.” (Tim Keller) The gospel changes everything. It changes how we live and do ministry. God is so incredible in saving us that we have to respond and share that message of salvation.
I am so excited that this year I have the privilege of sharing this life-changing gospel through HeartSong Ministries.