As posted on the Extremenazarene.org:
The impact of Love Extreme will be felt for a long time to come. Since Love Extreme has ended, we continue to hear stories of the awesome ways God worked during that time. Below are a few stories/comments that have been shared.
Love Extreme Mega-Event
"It was amazing to watch Felix prior to his speaking. He came and introduced himself, but then went out and picked up garbage. Rather than being served by the people in the VIP tent, he went out to serve."
– Jennifer Linnell, VIP tent coordinator
"A dancer from one of the groups knelt down in the grass behind the tent and prayed to receive Christ. He missed one of his dances during the performance, but was dancing and shouting `I’m free! I’m free!`"
– Jennifer Linnell, VIP tent coordinator
"During the men’s event, Jon Kregal, a former professional soccer player in Barcelona and New York, spoke. His testimony was more than soccer, it was about a life rescued from drugs, jail time, and self to that of resting securely on the foundation of Christ. Jon’s testimony led perfectly into that of Felix Vargas, a former member of the Colombian drug cartel. His testimony is one of redemption and forgiveness, despite his failures in nearly every area of his life. His wife was faithful in prayer, praying that one day he too would be a powerful man for Christ. It took 7 years for her prayers to be answered. Felix invited the group to respond to God’s call on their lives, and 120+ people received God’s gift of forgiveness and redemption.
– Tyson Smith, Men’s Conference Coordinator
"We originally had chairs set up for 700, and when we heard 3,000 people were lined up outside the front gate waiting, we quickly set up another 300 chairs. We could have had more women than 1,000 had the room been bigger. There was standing room only. The Peruvian band led an awesome time of worship to open. Then, Tammy Trent shared her music and testimony of how she lost her husband after 11 years of marriage. Lonna Vopat shared her testimony of a broken past of abuse and abandonment. Then, she shared the restoration by God. The women were so touched to hear a testimony they could relate to. Liliana Vargas gave an altar call, and 150 women came forward to accept Christ. One was Patricia Rodrigues, who has been a house mom for many of our new Extreme volunteers. Praise God!"
- Jill Tibbs, Women’s Conference Coordinator
"50 patients seen by the dentist, 218 by the doctors, and 32 received glasses. 300 total patients seen. Every patient received prayer and asked about salvation."
– Teri Englund, Medical Clinic Coordinator
"I cannot express the gratitude for all the people who jumped in to make this happen! There were those who sacrificed concerts and speakers to work in the food huts. I pray that God blessed them in their amazing work."
– Neil Horner, Food Coordinator
"Once the candles were lit, the altar was created, and the prayer sheets were set up, many locals came in and knelt to pray. Many of them were on their faces, crying out. Many Extremies also came in to pray. Once the prayer room was moved (moved to a different location to make more room for the growing men’s conference), many people began to walk the grounds and pray."
– Shirley Horner, Prayer Coordinator
"Trevor met up with a kid he had invited from the Plaza de Armas. He brought with him friends from his school. They had a video camera and interviewed us. "
– Garren Moore, 40/40 destined for Puno
"very good students! It is a very rewarding activity for them and for me. Even though there aren’t many students, they seem to really want to learn and appreciate the class. Two Extremies are reversing the process to learn some Spanish! "
- Vicki Duerre, Short Term Volunteer (ESL classes)
"We went to INABIF and shared the skit first for all the boys. Then, with Eva translating, Janelle shared the story of our savior. The girls offered to pray with anyone who wanted Jesus in their heart. About 30 boys raised their hands and prayed. Then, we played games interacted with the boys. Some leaders showed a group of interested boys the evangicube. It was a great day, especially since we had gone two days in a row and built a connection with many of the boys."
– Kristen Sailsbery, 40/40 destined for Tacna
"We went out as a group to pray and the Lord directed us to a young woman, who goes to college in Arequipa. I had an evangicube, and shared the gospel with her. She said, “I want God. I want to know God.” So, we led her back to the church, and invited her to the retreat. She was happy to speak with us, and said she wanted to come join us. Today, God brought the harvest! "
- Kristen Sailsbery, 40/40 destined for Tacna
"It was nice to see American kids interacting with the Peruvian kids even though they couldn’t understand each other."
– Kristy Andrews, 40/40 in Pucallpa
"We worked out of Alto Libertad construction site today for our medical clinic. We had six new short term volunteers in the group, who were a big help. We saw 80 patients today. We also had 10 people give their lives to Christ. Even after the clinic was finished, many people were standing around waiting, so we invited them to Love Extreme Mega-event. Several short term volunteers commented on how the patients were honest with not only their physical ailments, but also with their spiritual ones."
– Beth Beers, 40/40 in Arequipa
"The fact that we were able to go into these public schools to do drama and puppet shows about Christ, blows my mind!"
- Henrietta Scriven, 40/40 in Arequipa
"Many people were excited that there will be a church near their home in the future."
- Stephen Tarrant, 40/40 destined for Cusco
The following were supplied by Heather Simpson, Cluster Support in Iquitos.
"Team unity was totally spirit ordained. Ruth brought a magic wordless book bag. Susan brought a wordless bracelet craft. Karen brought 200 tubes of toothpaste, and our dentist, Mike, brought 200 toothbrushes. Another brought the life of Jesus paintings, and someone else a cross craft. All of this happened before even getting together or arranging things! God was in charge and it was beautiful to see how the orchestrated things." "One group brought princess dresses. They felt inspired to not just bring a few but 18, even adult sizes! It was so beautiful to see the older ladies and moms dress up, have their hair done, and participate in the devotional to learn how God has made them wonderfully and desires for them to be beautiful inside and out.""While cleaning up trash in Belen, we received a lot of “thank yous” and within minutes, several children were walking along and helping us!""A couple in our group, David and Celine Sumner-Clark, evangelized wherever they went. They had a total of 3 mototaxi drivers accept the Lord, and several street vendors as well. One mototaxi driver told them before they even said anything that he has wandered away from the Lord and wanted to rededicate his life. A street vendor, Guiseppe, accepted the Lord. He went out to dinner with them, came to church on Sunday night, came to say goodbye/thank you to them at the airport, and brought them gifts of gifts of gratitude. ""A little boy from the first day in 9 de Octubre, when we did the trash cleaning and lice treatment, found out that we were going to Padre Coche on Friday. He came with us to help. He wanted to carry our stuff, teach the children, and just felt drawn to be with us. ""Jose, Clarita, and Jasmine live here in Iquitos, and were asked to join our group fro their friend Ruth, who they met when she was here last year on a mission trip. They were such a blessing as translators, missionaries, Bible story tellers, puppeteers, and servants. We were honored to have them work with our group.""A local dentist even let us borrow all his equipment for free for 3 days!"
"The goal of this event was to reach the hardest to reach group of people, the 18-40 year old man who might likely spend their time drinking, at prostitution bars, and engaged in violence. The testimony of Felix was exactly what the people needed to hear and was so powerful. He just knew how to get their undivided attention. They were cheering, laughing, and totally engaged. That's the type of response we were praying about, God is so so big. Oh and the final match came down to a tie breaker with penalty kicks, it was epic."
Tyson Smith, Cluster Support in Puerto Maldonado (Soccer Tournament)
"The testimonies of Lonna Vopat and Liliana Vargas was like the perfect recipe for touching the women's lives here in Puerto. From dealing with abuse and neglect or dealing with an uninvolved, abusive or unfaithful husband, this conference was what women needed to hear to give hope and change lives for Christ."
Tyson Smith, Cluster Support in Puerto Maldonado (Women's Conference)
"This week seems like a person who hasn't been taught how to highlight effectively and ends up highlighting the entire page. This week is like that because it's all been a highlight"
Sara Zelner, Short Term Volunteer
The following were supplied by Andrew Kendall, 40/40 in Puerto Maldonado. Andrew was the project leader in Puno.
"It was the first time the church was let in a school. The director loved it! The church has been invited back. A great start to the work in Puno."
"In Ilave, we were able to eat lunch with the local people. The president of the community was very happy and wants us to come back. One of the mothers of the children accepted Christ. The pastor has a small group here, and it is also one of the future church plants. "
"We passed out fliers and invited people to the youth service. About 15 new people were there! The church was packed out! "
"On Sunday night, we had about 30 new people there, most with the flier that we had given out. There were 15 new converts, and lots others touched by Christ."