Christie's Top 7 Impact Moments 2010

Okay. I know. It’s been WAYYYYY too long since this blog has been updated. But if it makes anyone feel any better, we have been rally-touring, serving in York, brushing up our our outdoorsmen skills….and running a festival in Baree, PA.

Speaking of festivals in Baree, PA…we just got back from…(drumrolll please on the person’s head who is sitting in front of you….) IMPACT!!!!!!

When it comes to something as HUGE and extensive as Impact, I know that none of my words will be able to fully encompass the incredible moves God made, the laughter that made our stomachs hurt, or the exceptional (or not so exceptional) food we ate. So instead of making a vain attempt to describe EVERYTHING, here are just a few of my favorite moments of IMPACT 2010. There is no purpose to the order, they’re just listed however fast I could recall them. Eat, Sleep, Enjoy.

1. The Corn Song- I don’t know what it is about, I don’t understand why it was written…in fact, I do not even know which church wrote it. But in Tent City on Saturday Night, an entire group of youth came around me as I waited in line for a different church’s meal…and performed the Corn song for me. This song involved percussive, almost violent guitar strumming whilst a djembe and a drum box were beat heavily as if a battle was approaching. Soon after the song began, the lyricist sang a few words and began shouting CORN! CORN! CORN! CORN! and 3 young men began interpretive dancing like rain behind them. I am not sure if the song was to be taken literally or figuratively, but it sure meant a lot that those guys came over to perform it just for me 🙂 Also, it was stuck in my head for most of the night. So…I think you are on to something there guys. CORN!!!!

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2. Harry Potter, The Red Ninja, and Thor- Our Impact Hosts this year began an epic tale on Thursday Night involving 3 unlikely heros battling one another to attain a certain half bear half monkey half…something else called CoCo (no copyright infringement intended) Their Saga continued throughout all 3 evenings, and their riddles to CoCo’s whereabouts kept crowds in tent city on high alert for hours at a time. Though Harry Potter and Thor’s accents changed about every thirty seconds and the red ninjas voice sounded more like a slightly off-kilter squirrel than a human…campers were well entertained, and the moral of the extensive debacle was one we all can learn from: find coco—->receive cake. (and sometimes stuffing…if you’re lucky)

3. The Weather- Though I have not been attending Impact as long as some, I have been informed that it is has been QUITE a long time since we have had such incredible weather for the entire event. Besides some slight sprinkling early on Thursday morning, the weather was warm in the mornings, hot in the afternoons, and cool at night. Could we ask for more than that? I don’t think so.

4. Freddie Colloca Band- Some point in between salsa dancing, jumping as high as possible, wiping the sweat off of a friend’s brow, and praying for anyone around or near me…I realized that I was very much ENJOYING Freddie Colloca and his band. Not only did Freddie and the band lead us in moving worship earlier in the evening (so inspiring a 200 person conga line started in fact), but Freddie also found a way to really invite us into the heart of God. A place where there is joy and life and excitement, but also complete and utter serious worship and freedom. Through simple songs of worship, laughter, and reflection…the band really gave God the freedom to move and to usher a spirit of hope over the entire impact group. Those are moments that I will not easily or soon forget.

5. Weirdest things in Tent City- On Saturday Morning, while others were teaching or sitting in seminars, Alexander Troup. Brynn Lettiri, and I were sent on a secret mission to Tent City to collect data for the 2010 Impact Awards. Armed with nothing but a Nerf Gun, a camera, and sheer intuition and ingenuity, we welcomed all the risks, struggles, and hysterics that resulted from our task. Our mission was simple: discover strange things in tent city, who did them, and photograph them. And though the final result on mainstage seemed like a simple list of interesting things, the stories behind those weird things were really my favorite part. As the three of us soldiered into tent city, unaware of the treasures we’d discover there, we found immediately at First Church UMC a spider web of clothesline, and two full sized pig roasters cooking divine BBQ chicken. Though we were tempted to stay for a bite, we resisted and pressed onward toward the goal that Christ has called us…wait…that’s in the bible…well…we pressed onward nonetheless. We ran into a friend named Abbie on our journey, who took the liberty of showing us a white board that pinned Bible stories against each other for the ultimate honor of “Best Bible Story”. When we came upon the board, David and Goliath had beaten out all of the Old Testament Stories, including Jacob wrestling with God, Jonah and the Whale, CREATION, and Moses and the Red Sea. The New testament board was not yet finished, but Pentecost, Lazarus being raised from the dead, and Rev. 4’s throne room of heaven were all noble contenders for the prize. After reflecting briefly on whether or not one could actually rank Bible stories, Troup, Brynn, and I, found a perfectly mowed field hockey course behind one of the campsites. As we explored further, however, we came upon a strange shape mowed in the grass. “It’s an H!” Troup exclaimed. But Brynn creased her brow, walking beyond the strange shape to a distance further away. “No no” she suddenly aid, “It’s an I! I says…’I LOVE GOD!’” She read in astonishment. Someone had actually mowed a message into the ground of Tent City! Convinced we needed proof of this for mainstage, Troup precariously balanced on Brynn’s tall shoulders in an effort to capture the full message on the camera. After 3 failed attempts, and more than one possible accident, the photo was captured!!!! Delighted with ourselves at our finds so far, we journeyed further along the outer rims of tent city until I spotted a small tarp sticking up 1.5 feet from the ground…that appeared to be a tent. After conversing with the tent site owners, we came to realize that one of the taller boys in the youth group insisted on sleeping in this very very small tent. We may or may not have laughed for a significant period of time. After composing ourselves we took a picture of alex troup standing by the tent…and even as a shorter person… he was significantly larger than it.

After a viewing of tent city’s smallest tent, we came upon Zion’s campsite, only to be severely disappointed by their sheer LACK of true Tent City Spirit. A House Tent? A HUGE camper with a bathroom (in which our dear Host Cody Sherry was kidnapped and LOCKED while Zion pressed for information about CoCo’s whereabouts). Another camper..and apparently, a world renowned chef? They were not roughin’ it…and we needed to publicly call them out on it. Oh yes, Zion would receive a prize. In fact, they

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did. A half drained can of root beer. So bring a camper and a chef to Impact next year…and you too could win this coveted prize.

Exhausted from photo acrobatics, small tents, pig roasters, and camping mockeries, the three soldiers turned to leave tent city. But even as we trudged onward, even as we turned to leave, we had to capture one more thing on camera. A literal TREE just chillin out by the CHUM trailer, as if someone had just gotten bored and decided to chop it down. We have no answers to the tree’s purpose, the reasoning for its placement,or why it ever needed to die for the sake of CHUM. It seems that for now, it will remain a mystery. Nerf Gun, camera, and high-spirits in tow…we left tent city…victorious.

6. Coco- “If it is Coco you wish to find, think of april/may’s zodiac sign. Coco’s fur may be orange and bright, but his hiding place is as dark as night…”

Half bear…half monkey…half everything else. The 9th wonder of the world. The source of epic host battles and hours of youth coordinated search parties, all longing to claim the prize. Who knew that one large, stuffed animal could cause such an uproar among Impact attendees and coordinators alike? Coco went through a lot during Impact. He was tied to trees, thrown in the back of vehicles, claimed by ninjas, wizards, and norse gods. He was captured and held for ransom by a group who made certain demands. He was traded for boxes of stuffing and Viking swords, group pictures, and chocolate cake. Yes, only one could claim him. Or three. Though he faced many trials, and hiding places….though some youth groups may have kidnapped hosts and demanded information….though he may have felt emotionally abandoned, Coco made it home safe. Moseltof.

7. The Baptism Service- Once again, I feel as though I have little words to describe the beauty of this time. Sometimes in life I feel like God gives us little glimpses of heaven. Just for a moment and if you aren’t paying close attention you might miss it, but if you catch it, for a second, it’s like a breath of pure, fresh air. And I had not one but several of those glimpses during the baptism service. Watching my SnL friends help people wade into the water. Seeing friends embrace their friends moments after being drenched in a new commitment to their faith. Prayers of hope and songs of praise…no bells, no whistles…simplicity. Love. Joy. Faith, just they way they were meant to be. I have rarely been so overwhelmed and overcome with sheer joy and delight. It was like feeling the heart of God leap for joy, and knowing that what I can feel is only a FRACTION of the joy and love HE felt during this service. And that, my friends, is why there is reason to hope. In the midst of everything we face after leaving something like Impact, the heart of God, the intent of God for our lives and this world…is why there is reason to hope.

We have seen remarkable things.

Peace.

Christie

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