Oh What A Night

Last night at Grace Fellowship was nothing short of amazing.  The Daraja Children’s Choir of Africa blessed us beyond measure.  It was a joy and privilege to be around these children and their sponsors for the past two days!  They are amazing; their smiles, hope and joy are contagious.  Their concert last night was one of the highlights of the year for me personally as my heart joined theirs in worship.  Can I say it again – what God did through them and is doing in their lives is simply amazing!

The last part of Nehemiah 8:10 says:  “Don’t be sad, because the joy of the Lord will make you strong.”   These children have almost no personal possessions, many have lost one or both parents, and they live in extreme poverty in Kenya.  There are many days they do not know where their next meal will come from.  They have so little; yet, they have so much joy and hope.  I think there’s an interesting contrast between them and many people in America.  We live in a land of abundance.  Most Americans have many possessions.  We’re not worried about where our next meal will come from; in fact, most of us could stand to skip a few meals.  And yet with all our stuff, many people in our country seem to have so little hope and no real joy; just the opposite of these children.  When I talked with one of their Kenyan sponsors and asked him the reason for this joy he didn’t hesitate to tell me it was because they’ve allowed God into their hearts – that they’ve trusted Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Master and He fills them with hope and joy.  WOW!

I love living in America; I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.  I’m so thankful for the incredible privileges and freedoms we enjoy.  I’m thankful for the provisions and possessions we are able to enjoy.  At the same time, I think maybe more people in our nation would experience greater joy if they realized that our abundance is something to be shared with others.  It might be that we would experience more joy if we tried to live a simpler life and shared a little more of what we have with others in the world who are far less fortunate but just want a chance to do something with their lives.  One of the great blessings about being at Grace is that so many of you already get this.  Your generosity is amazing; maybe it’s one more reason why there’s so much joy in our church!

One other note about last night.  It was a highnote for me for several reasons.  1) several people who attended made personal commitments to Jesus Christ and it just doesn’t get any better than that! 2) Most of the time churches similar in size to ours will give the choir a love offering of around $1000; but you are so generous and gave the choir over $8000.  Your generosity is such a blessing; I am so proud of your investment in eternity! { in additon to this – when the choir arrived there were several significant things wrong with their tour bus and one of the men in our church took the bus – fixed it for them and returned it with no charge!}  3) We had nearly 900 people in attendance; the auditorium was packed to capacity and we had a huge crowd in the overflow area in the atium. 4) I got to meet Daniel – a wonderful young man from Kenya who has been in the states for a number of years now and heard about the choir coming – he came from Grand Prairie to attend last night – and was beaming with joy as the children allowed him to experience a part of his culture. 5) There was such a buzz in the atrium for nearly an hour after the concert and I heard from so many of you how you were blessed!

Oh What A Night!

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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One Response to Oh What A Night

  1. Pam Clark says:

    Thank you for the privledge to experience those beautiful sweet children. Our God is Good, it showed in each one of their faces and when they sang they rocked:) What a wonderful blessing.

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