By Cathrine Chalupka
Europe Mission Volunteer
So I found myself in Subic, along with my family, attending the WSC 2013. “Declare”… Well at first I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t really know what the connection between John 14:12 and the Congress title “Declare” was, but our God is an amazing God, I should’ve known that the Lord would prove the title at the very end of the Congress. It was an amazing event all throughout.
On the first day we started with a Session set up of a Praise Concert. How creative this is, to incorporate the content of the session into one big prayer. It was so amazing to witness more than one thousand SFLs worshiping the Lord while also listening to the speaker. On the next day, we had a convention like workshop program and in the evening the very first Gala night with a dance floor. And then as usual, we had our final Praisefest on day 3 of the Congress with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
So we were praising our Lord and giving our everything in that powerful moment of prayer when all of a sudden everything went dark – A BROWNOUT. A brownout? How is that possible, why is this happening? I was at the back when it happened. People being completely perplex in that moment, all those scrutinizing faces trying to find out if that was part of the program. And among them the Service team and prayer warriors starting to run back and forth trying to fix the “problem” and then there was the Blessed Sacrament and the worship leader on a complete darkened stage. The picture of a huge oppression was presented to us on a silver platter. I started praying for the event immediately, fearing that people will get distracted because of the brownout, but God answered me immediately. As I found myself in deep prayer I heard the Congress delegates in front singing “in the darkness God’s light shine…” repeating the chorus over and over again and then amidst all of that the Service team running back and forth, the people looking at each other and one delegation after the other joining in singing. I believe we could see God, we could feel God’s presence – and I smiled. For I felt God speaking to me and in that moment I realized for myself: it was a test.
This year’s Congress title was “Declare”. To declare God’s glory and our faith is easy in a perfect set up like the congress, it is easy to worship God and live out our faith together with others who share the same passion and faith. So how about declaring our faith in dark times, during the wild storms in our lives, when everything seems to be dark and we find ourselves in lonely places? God is a God who tests us and we answered. While we were singing the drums started to accompany us and all of a sudden the acoustic guitar was online again. Excited to see how the instruments one by one came back online, the screens warming up again the crowd started singing louder. And then God’s biggest blow – the stage lights together with the electric guitar all at once turned on again. What a dramatic effect God surprised us with – it was like a light show in a concert and God was our star. The spots all pointing and the live camera focusing at the Blessed Sacrament people started applauding and shouting for joy and excitement. It was God telling us “Be assured that I am with you even through the darkest times in your life, so declare you faith even then!” A breathtaking, amazing moment. Tears were running down my cheeks for God always use the most wonderful ways to show Himself and His power. I thought that the brownout was “the oppression” to bring down the excitement of the Congress but our God is a God who transforms everything in His very own beautiful ways.
The oppression was transformed into a huge affirmation for our faith in God. Indeed God showed us that faith works wonders and we declared that faith works wonders in any kinds of circumstances. We came, God tested, we responded and God reaffirmed us. It was a spirit-filled event that I will never forget, we were truly witnesses of God as a miracle worker. May God be praised.
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