December 31, 2000: Saturday Night at The River
November 26, 2000: College athletes minstry emphasizes Holy Spirit
November 19, 2000: Bad weather doesn't dampen spirits of thousands at Detroit's Convoy of Hope
November 12, 2000: International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Church
October 29, 2000: Frontiersman way of life draws men, boys closer to Christ
September 17, 2000: Loving the unloved
September 10, 2000: Changing lives in a big way
August 13, 2000: Church planting fuels growth
July 30, 2000: Full Gospel New York Church targets 500,000 Koreans
July 16, 2000: Running the good race
July 9, 2000: Hispanic church thrives in border town
June 25, 2000: The hand of God
June 18, 2000: HonorBound: Raising an army of godly men
May 14, 2000: A/G foster families minister to children
April 30, 2000: Prison revival reaches beyond the fence
April 23, 2000: Harvest Sunday draws hundreds for water baptism
April 16, 2000: Chain reaction
April 9, 2000: One pastor's burden: reaching the 'white slums'
March 26, 2000: Cowboy church rounds up believers
March 19, 2000: Motorsports ministry: Winning souls at the track
March 12, 2000: A dream blooms in the desert
February 20, 2000: Romanian church prospers for 20 years
February 13, 2000: Ministry at a strategic academic crossroads
January 23, 2000: God's Navy
Bad weather doesnt dampen spirits of thousands at Detroits Convoy of Hope
(November 19, 2000)
Children bounce on large inflatable playgrounds. Others clutch red-and-white balloons in one hand and eat hot dogs with the other. Nearby, hundreds of teens gather around a portable stage where youth minister through music and drama. As thousands of "honored guests" file into large tents, they receive food, dental and medical care, haircuts, school supplies and other free services. In addition, they hear the gospel and receive special prayer.
Despite a relentless rainstorm that forces 4,000 guests to flee, another 5,000 guests attend the Convoy of Hope in Detroit, Mich. More than 1,000 make commitments to Christ.
"It was a fun day no matter what the weather was like," says Brad Trask, pastor of Brighton Assembly of God, the suburban church that spearheaded the Convoy. "We had people set free from addictions. One woman was in line and left to smoke crack cocaine, but a volunteer stopped her and told her Jesus loved her and wanted to change her life. The woman threw the crack into the mud, stomped on it and came back to the tent and asked Jesus into her life."
Keith Johnson, a 43-year-old chef, is one of those who made decisions to follow Christ.
"In the family-ministry tent the speaker said Jesus died and came back to life," he says. "That tells me Jesus is all-powerful. I now know that Im going to be all right today, tomorrow and the days that follow."
Sheltered from the rain in the health tent, mothers and fathers with children in tow move from station to station receiving screenings for diabetes, glucose level, blood pressure and dental checkups.
"We try to break the ice with a blood pressure cuff to get them talking to us," says Mary McGovern, a registered nurse and volunteer. "When they tell us some of their desires or problems, we ask if we can pray for them. We minister to the physical need of the person and then we find the spiritual need and pray for it."
Calecta, a young mother of five waiting to enter the family ministry tent with her children swarming at her feet, says this is the first Convoy of Hope she has attended, and she is thankful for the free groceries.
"It is very nice what they are doing for our community," she says, picking up one of her daughters. "The fact that they are giving out food will really help us."
Some, such as Robert Green, 37, say they not only feel encouraged in their faith, but they experienced denominational and racial reconciliation.
"All these folks coming together as one army gives everyone peace of mind that we can work together," he says.
Johnson, who made a commitment to Christ, agrees.
"I had some white friends in the military and we got along fine it was the same here today," he says. "It feels good. There is hope. People look each other in the eyes and respect each other no matter what their skin color."
According to Rob Clay, a national director of Convoy of Hope, 1,206 volunteers from 102 churches participated and 39 churches are contacting and discipling those who made decisions to follow Christ.
"This is another example of what can happen when churches unite across denominational, racial and ministry lines to do together what they could never do alone," he says.
Hours after the Convoy officially ends, many visitors linger as volunteers clean up the site and pass out the last bags of school supplies.
"The whole purpose of this was to take the city back for the Lord," one volunteer says. "I think today was a good start."
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