Powerless in the Midwest
by Zach Blickens of White Ribbon Day
“So this is the generator?”
“Yeah, this is it.”
I glanced sideways at my friend Josh Brewer and went quiet for a moment. He raised his eyebrows and shrugged.
We both looked back at the white, trailer-sized piece of equipment and were quiet for another moment.
The generator also remained quiet.
I wiped a bead of sweat from my forehead with the edge of my damp forearm.
“So it’s not working yet, huh?”
“Nope. They’re still working on it, and I’m not sure they know what the problem is.”
He nodded to the side of the unit where two grime-covered but capable-looking workmen were fiddling with a panel of buttons and gauges. While I watched, one of them smacked his palm against a portion of the assembly, waited for a moment, and then muttered something under his breath.
“Show starts in an hour and we still need to do sound-checks for a bunch of bands, huh?”
“Yeah,” he looked over at the large stage, loaded with thousands of dollars of currently useless equipment, and then at the small groups of people in lawn chairs that had already started to arrive early for the festival, “looks like we should probably get everyone together to pray.”
Behind us, one of the workman muttered something else under his breath.
I nodded. It was going to be a close one.
We were about to play our final Lifelight Festival of the summer in the rural town of Rock Valley, Iowa. The stage was set, the production was top-level, the bands were excited to play, and we were ready to share the love of Jesus with the people of the community.
We just didn’t have any power.
Josh turned towards the stage, and started to signal, but our team had already begun filtering in from around the site. It was our scheduled time for pre-show prayer, and our need for it today was undeniable.
“Hey dad,” my daughter Kailah had arrived quietly and stood at my left side, “Still not working?”
“Hey little one,” I turned to her as I fished in the tight pockets of my black skinny jeans for my phone, “Not yet, so we’re gonna have to pray, huh?”
I located the phone and spent about twenty seconds awkwardly trying to pull it from the persistent grip of my pocket, then raised it to snap a picture of the scene.
“Is that for your blog?” Kailah smiled.
“Yeah,” I smiled back, “It’s for when God answers and the generator comes on.”
I said it with a confidence that I only partially felt, and moments later we began to pray.
“God, for the sake of this community… Please give us the power we need to share the message of the love of Jesus… God please meet these people tonight…”
And before we had finished praying, God answered.
The generator roared to life.
And stayed alive for 8-10 more hours.
We finished our last sound checks with moments to spare, and the show began.
White Ribbon Day and several other amazing bands and BMX stunt riders performed, all sharing the love of Jesus, and throughout the evening, the crowds grew.
Then Josh took the stage and clearly shared the message of freedom available through Jesus - many people responded, and across the field, I watched as counselors embraced those who had come forward, praying and crying together.
I spoke personally with several young people, and was moved to tears as they experienced the love of Jesus firsthand – I will try to share some of their stories soon.
In John 6:44, Jesus says that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day,” and once again, He showed clearly that He is able to do whatever needs to be done to draw people to Himself.
Once again, we got to watch Him rescue the people that He loves so much right in front of our eyes.
And this is why we do what we do.