Blazing heat, lightning storms, and torrents of rain in biblical proportions characterized this year’s Old Orchard Beach Pier Festival (July 28 – August 3). Yet in spite of these environmental challenges, God was actively at work drawing people into a greater knowledge of his grace and salvation.
The theme of this year’s pier festival was “Come to Life”, based on Jesus’ words in John 10:10. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Recognizing that only Jesus Christ can bring fullness and restoration to a person’s life, the call went out to the people to consider inviting Christ into their lives and experiencing this new life first hand.
Although the rain forced us to cancel two evenings of performances and ministry, God blessed our shortened week in greater ways than we could have possibly imagined. 12 people gave their lives to the Lord; over 200 people were prayed for and hundreds more engaged in meaningful conversations with our evangelists. In total there were over 15,000 ‘Gospel Encounters’. It is our prayer that in time God will bring these 15,000 seeds of faith to harvest.
At this year’s Pier Festival a new Gospel finale was unveiled: Deus Ex Machina, or God Enters the Machine – an exciting steampunk musical that captivated the crowds. Through the lens of the character Steambot, we saw the inner workings of a person’s soul – a soul in desperate need of knowing God. The finale was brilliantly presented by Army On Its Toes Dance Company with music and production by DJ Morph and Salvation Factory, as well as assistance from the THQ Facilities Team and countless others!
An audience member from Québec shared with our evangelism team that after seeing the Pier Festival performances, night after night, she felt renewed strength and a greater ability to deal with a recent loss in her life. Anthony, a young man who gave his life to the Lord last year through the ministry at the pier came by to say hello and to tell us that he’s still living out his newfound faith. Perhaps the most significant moment came at the end of a busy week when Envoy Steve Bussey (while standing on the raised platform of a moving truck no less) encouraged the entire team to make evangelism a part of their every-day life.
Through the stage acts, the street ministry, prayer, and evangelism teams, we were able to share the Good News of the Gospel with the people of OOB. We offer a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to our amazing volunteers and our leadership that joyfully supported our vision. We’re already excited for next year!