Twenty-seven years after an Overflow-type weekend, I still remember how impactful those days were to me. Jesus radically altered the course of my life in January of 1989 as my friends and I stayed the weekend at Tom and Mary Gingerich’s home. They decided to be a “host home” to a group of 12 or so teenagers for our annual Disciple Now weekend. My friend, Brad Reagan, invited me to attend the weekend as his guest. I knew all the other students who were going to be participating over the weekend event. However, I never thought that Jesus would grip my heart in such a way that I would be forever changed.
I had grown up in church. My parents were so faithful to have my brother, sister, and me in Sunday School and worship, every Sunday since I could breathe, but they never pressured us to attend outside of Sunday morning as a family. I prayed and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior as a second grader. Then, I was baptized shortly after making my decision public to my church family. However, it was not until my sophomore year of high school that I really began to understand what it meant to have a daily relationship and walk with Jesus.
That’s what I began to learn about and became more and more engaged with over that weekend back in 1989. Twenty-seven years later, I remember it like it was yesterday. I started reading my Bible on a daily basis. My prayer life began to be more consistent and something I pursued beyond the start of meals and at bedtime. I began to sing the songs differently and made choices that I thought Jesus would want me to make. I actually began to think about Jesus all week long and not only on Sunday morning at church.
Jesus was taking over my life. Jesus was influencing my mind. Jesus was shaping my choices. Jesus was forming me into the person He always wanted me to become. And He still is! Jesus is not finished with me yet. Yet I trace so much of what I am doing and who I am today back to that weekend in January 1989.
I’m thankful that Mr. and Mrs. Gingerich opened their home to my friends and me. I’m thankful for all the food that parents and people from FBC Woodway prepared and let us devour. I’m thankful for my leaders and the student ministry that helped to challenge me and provided opportunities to learn, grow, connect, and have fun building relationships with friends.
I’m praying for our teenagers as they head toward Overflow weekend in the next few days. I pray that Jesus radically alters the course of their lives this weekend like He did mine. I pray for all the host homes and people who are serving behind the scenes to make this such an incredible weekend for our students. I’m thankful for those who have given scholarships for students who needed some financial help to be able to join in the Overflow weekend. Jesus sees it all and blesses each aspect of the weekend as people serve and do their part to make it happen.
It’s not too late to sign up…but it will be after Wednesday night at 11:59pm. So sign up today for Overflow! Jesus only knows how this weekend could impact you in ways that you remember decades later.