We got off our tour bus in a place I had never been before (as if that wouldn’t be enough to make this day memorable) — Oslo, Norway. It was minus 20 degrees Celsius, which is also the coldest temperature I had ever experienced — that was memorable too… AND THE PEOPLE! Man, the people of Norway have got to be some of the nicest people in the world! There was one guy, Jean-Paul, who took us out to show us the city — we went to the highest point in Oslo, we got to experience great local Norwegian roasted coffee and ate some of the local food!
I have to say though, there was one thing that trumped all that had preceded that day. Let’s fast forward to the worship night, that started really well! Oslo turned up ready to worship and the first half of the night went without a hitch. That was until it was time to give the people an opportunity to meet Jesus, traditional known as the ‘appeal’… for me and for many, it would have to be the most important part of people’s lives.
As I am giving the appeal and asking people about the spiritual condition of their heart and soul, out of nowhere with thousands of people in front of me, EVERYTHING GOES BLACK — the power to the lights and sound, and half the city of Oslo, had gone completely dead! I look back to a friend [Reuben Morgan] and he quietly but urgently said to me ‘Keep going, just project your voice!‘
I took a deep breath, made some seemingly funny comment that related to this pretty uncomfortable situation, and then proceeded to ask people that if I had a one-on-one conversation with them, would they really be able to say that they knew Jesus. After a couple of moments I asked everyone to close their eyes to give each other privacy [to which they nervously giggled at as it was already close to pitch black] and I asked those people who didn’t have a relationship with Him to lift their hands — and in that moment I saw hand after hand go up from close to me to just seeing hands in the distant darkness of the room go up as well! So many responded and accepted Jesus into their hearts!
From there I had the responsibility of giving people the chance to sponsor children through Compassion, who we have partnered with for years! And amazingly in the darkness of the room with nothing but an Aussie voice speaking loudly over the crowd about an issue that we hold dear to us as a worship team and as a church — over 120 people received children to sponsor and put their hands up to changing a life, a family and possibly a community of people!
After that we had the most incredible time of worship, no sound or lights — just voices and an acoustic guitar — with our amazing production team who had found a generator [who just finds a generator?] and a small PA system, scurrying behind us to set it up so people could actually hear us! All the while not a person left, not a person sat down, and it felt like all the voices had worship coming from them. God is Able, From The Inside Out, Hosanna, Hallelujah, etc… Song after song being sung at the top of their lungs! It was truly special.
And just as we begin singing With Everything, the lights came on and the people began cheering the loudest I had heard that whole night! It was as if God had planned the perfect time to let it all come back again — to which we began building the music, the lights began flashing and the sound system began to fill the room with sound! And with one massive sound the whole room gave out out a sound of praise ‘WOAHHHHHHHHHH’ [you know the part], and on and on we sang, praising God into the night!!!
One of the most memorable worship nights I have ever been a part of in my life. So cool, so refreshing to know that people come to these nights to worship Jesus, not to see a band. No hype — JUST JESUS.