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A Taste of Heaven This Summer
by Talittha Cornerstone
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I will be doing a couple of things this summer but where travelling is concerned I shall be going to a couple of healing crusades. My past experiences have been unbelievably good. I had quite a lot of fun seeing people of all races and ethnicity come under one roof at a stadium or lounge around on the grass with their families with picnic baskets in the open overflow areas. I am not kidding - you will see people from all walks of life and my last trip felt like some sort of cultural exchange event! Usually the music is pretty good too and you might catch the live performances of Michael W Smith, Mercy Me or other Christian artistes and bands, depending on which event you attend. Many youth events are scheduled for the summer and the experience of seeing masses of people come together to worship God is pretty awesome.

I remember a time when attending a healing crusade was such a rare treat for my family because we were overseas for some time and not many evangelists travelled to our area. Being in America is such a blessing because many anointed evangelists are Americans. It is easy to plan a short getaway that is inexpensive if you are not attending their international crusades. It usually costs quite a bit to bring the entire family overseas so you may prefer to attend the domestic events instead. However, if your budget permits you to go beyond our shores there are quite a number of destinations to consider - they range from England, Italy, Canada, Argentina, to even farther destinations such as Japan, New Zealand and Fiji etc.

In planning our vacations, my family enjoys looking at some of the upcoming events on the various evangelists websites. We are thinking about Hawaii or Boston this year. I usually take advantage of the ministry’s group rate for the hotels. We usually book the rooms for the duration of the event but attend just up to one or two meetings. The rest of our time in the city is spent sight seeing on our own doing the other family stuff together. You can get more information on these accommodation specials on the event web page. A telephone number is usually provided and the people offering information are pretty helpful and friendly. I used to call to find out if the meetings are suitable for all ages but I have observed some older folks enjoy themselves thoroughly at Youth Events too. If you are bringing your friends or seniors who require wheel chair assistance to any of the healing crusades, it is definitely important to make the necessary enquiries pertaining to parking and the free shuttles which provide special assistance.

As it is summer, it makes complete sense to put on your summer clothes. People wear all sorts of summer wear to crusades. There is little point in being fashion conscious because no one is going to look at you with the preaching, music and worship going on. The important thing is to be comfortable and put on your sunscreen. It would be a good idea to wear comfortable shoes just because there is quite a bit of congestion and waiting at major exits at the arenas or nearby train stations, etc. With all this in mind, you are all set. I have found my vacations which are planned around crusades to have that additional spark - a sort of je ne sais quoi! Gathering in a great assembly with Christians of all colors and nationalities is really quite an awesome experience. There are designated seats for those who require special headsets to listen to the program in foreign languages and dialects. You will also notice that an event like this is made possible with the help of volunteers and so this might be a way to get your family involved if you wish to help out. The truth is you will feel blessed just being there. At first I was a little apprehensive about the logistics of planning my vacation around a crusade especially since I am someone who loathes toilet trips at crowded places and is a little sceptical about the evangelists who appear on TV.

Clearly, the joy I experienced made whatever minor inconveniences worthwhile and it erased my previous misconceptions. I have learnt I need to be present to know what actually goes on before the healing ministry that is captured on the television broadcasts. You got to be there to experience first hand how lives are touched. We are even thinking about a small group vacation with a couple of friends this time around. From my experience, last minute arrangements are possible. So, if you are hoping to make your vacation a little different this summer, it might be worth your while to check things out. Last summer, my family was at a Billy Graham meeting in New York and we were next to a lady who looked oppressed and nonchalant. However, when the altar call was made, she darted to the stage like a deer and we lost sight of her.

Later, we saw her again and she was with a counsellor and in tears of joy. When I went up to hug her, she said she felt something was telling her all week she had to attend the crusade. Apparently, no one invited her and she only knew of Billy Graham from the bill boards around the city to advertise the crusade. I was so happy for her and I knew the change in her had nothing to do with Billy Graham. To be honest, I do not even remember what he preached except that it was about Noah‘s ark. It is just as well because the ark is Jesus. At the end of the meetings, the news reported they had 8000 new believers and I hear some people made new friends with the ushers and counsellors. I cannot wait to relive this experience this summer and I pray you will have a wonderful time too.

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