Wednesday happened to be the nicest weather we've seen in a while so it was a day when lots of students were out enjoying the weather. UVA, like many universities across the nation, has a free speech area that attracts guys who go college to college open air preaching, i.e. screaming at people that they're going to hell. A&M had these guys too and they really stir people up. If you've never experienced it, it's basically a guy yelling, attracting a crowd, and the crowd eventually yelling back at the guy. Well, wouldn't you know when our team was out passing out info about our church, a guy was "preaching" in the huge ampitheater in the middle of the campus and attracting quite a crowd, a crowd that was very upset and yelling back at the guy. The guy was saying things like "God hates [certain groups of people]" and stuff that was very inflammatory and flat out wrong.
Kyle grabbed Bill, George, and a cooler full of drinks and marched down to the very front of the ampitheater until he was standing right in front of the guy. The guy stopped and just stared at Kyle, like "what the heck is about to happen?" Kyle spoke to the crowd of hundreds and said, "I don't know what this guy is saying to you, but I'm a pastor of a local church in town and we're here on Grounds today to give out free drinks to let you know that God loves you, He really loves you."
As soon as he finished speaking, the crowd that had been stunned silent broke out cheering and clapping and immediately swarmed the guys grabbing drinks and cards about our church. Some people said they didn't want drinks, but just wanted to know about the church and thanked Kyle for what he said. Afterward, the Central students who were out sharing started running into people that talked about "that guy who said God loves us."
Isn't that a crazy story? I am so proud of Kyle and I feel like months of his (and Bill's) faithfulness to share on Grounds came to fruition in that moment. God really gave him favor and an opportunity that no one saw coming, not even Kyle before he spoke.
We are so thankful to Central for sending us a team and for the team who came. They were so great and a huge encouragement to us and to our little church. We can't wait to see what happens on Sunday!