New Year's Eve Madness!!!

The Best way to ring in the new year!!

Literally seconds before we saw the ball drop in Time's Square...goodbye 2007!

Stacie and Jesse were along for the ride too...Happy 2008!

Definately some serious planning taking place between Jason and I...yeah right!

Travis pointing at the 1,000 balloons we had up in the catwalks to release at midnight!

A view of the maze we set up for dart wars in the grand commons...lots of fun!

Well, we are fresh off of our huge New Year's Eve Blast and we are soooo thankful for what a huge success it was! This is by far the biggest event we do all year, so we have lots of planning, staffing, and money wrapped up in other words, we NEED it to go well and it did, better than we hoped for actually! I posted the last Office Spoof we did to advertise for it...I personally love this episode and the students must have too, because they came out in droves last night to attend.

Our event was from 7pm-7am ( Travis and I are still delirious to some extent after 26 hours of no sleep!)and we had lots to do for both high school and junior high. As is the tradition at most churches I think, our students are not good about registering IN ADVANCE for things, so we almost always end up guessing at our final numbers and then hope we are correct. As of yesterday at noon, we were at 85 junior highers and 65 high schoolers. We had a pretty good feeling that we were going to get alot of students at the door because the buzz seemed good, but we were shocked and thrilled when approx. 250 of them came and registered last night, bringing our grand total to approx. 400 students!! What a total blessing and breath of fresh air that turnout was...I can tell you as the wife of a youth Pastor, it's very satisfying when that many students belive in what you're doing and show up...I had a VERY happy husband because of it! Logistically however, that many students made my night WAY BUSIER! I am sure I walked at least 10 miles last night just following up on details, rounding kids up, taking care of "sick" kids, getting supplies, etc., etc., etc. Praise God for radios and walkie talkies...our church is so big and we were all over the building, so if it weren't for radios, I can't imagine how we would have pulled that off!

We also had an army of wonderful volunteers who helped us pull an all-nighter off without any major glitches. We had simulaneous events happening for both age groups last night, and a shared program for both around midnight. The senior highers had a carnival at Grace, bowling in Eden Prairie, and a movie and the junior highers had dart wars at Grace, a carnival at Grace and a movie as well. We videoed the program and I hope to have the video of the winning airband up soon....they were AMAZING by the way! All the bands were great, but this particular band was SOOOO good!

All in all, we are thrilled with the way the night went and we are very aware of the Lord's hand on us all night. More than any other thing, we are most excited about the 12 students (that we know of so far) that prayed to receive Christ after Jason shared the Gospel around 1:00am...the late nights, the long days, the planning, our aching bodies and our exhausted minds were worth every bit just to see the Lord move in our students hearts. He is so good to use our feeble attempts at evangelism to reach those kids. People ask me how we could do this for a living and why we would want to work with junior high students and I can think of no better answer than what happened last night. Changed hearts, changed lives, and changed eternal there any better high than that??? Student ministry is hard and it's full of burned out, stressed out people...but every student is worth all of it and to know that we can minister God's grace to them just by loving them and having fun with them is humbling and very, very worth our time and energy. 2008 is off to a great start for the Armstrongs...we pray the God's richest blessings on all of you as well. Happy New Year!!

1 comment:

sheltonfamily said...

AWESOME!!! I'm so thrilled for you all and that feeling of the fruit finally coming through your dedication and work. I haven't done an all-nighter in so long. However, it is so crazy how all the kids brought their friends etc.. that is very exciting! God is up to something big in Eden Prairie!