[This entry was written on location, and the photo was taken at the time this post is being written. The photos being held in the shot are of the line outside at Brownsville Assembly of God, and was taken by myself the year following my first trip (1998)]
First full day was spent waiting in a line on the sidewalk.
Yup. I didn’t stutter, or mistype if you will. We waited in line, all day, from about 8:30 AM to when the doors opened in the evening.
Did I know why we were waiting in line? I only knew that a lot of people were coming to this thing, and we didn’t drive 1,400 miles to sit in one of the other rooms.
The day was filled with throwing a football, lunch at Barnhills, naps, and sun bathing. (Yes, it was February; but remember that we came down from the frozen north. This was like April weather to us!)
As the time approached for us to enter the building, we put away our chairs, blankets, coolers, etc and began to tighten-up the line. An older gentleman was on a white megaphone, and was saying “Single file line. Single file line. No drinks, bags, coolers, umbrellas allowed inside.” (The last part may not be exactly the order.)
We were fortunate enough to get front row seats.
I was front row, middle isle, inside seat.
Yeah… in the bulls-eye. The spit flying from the mouth of Steve Hill, the evangelist preaching in the service, was flying over me. That’s how close we were.
I did what I knew to do: stand and seem interested.
All I remember is staring at the cross inlaid in the wall behind the stage, and being brought to tears.
The rest of the service was kind of a blur, until the end…
We were ushered to the back of the room because the seats we were in were only temporary seating, and they were making room at the front by removing those seats.
As I stood in the back of the room, Steve Hill made the call to those who needed to respond to the Gospel. I don’t really know why, but I knew that I just needed to respond, so I ran down to the front and threw myself on the floor, and began to weep.
Something was happening to me that had never happened before.
To be continued…