by Robert Canfield
Last week, we hosted a Children’s and Family Crusade with Children’s Evangelist Ed Dunlop. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Ed Dunlop is no ordinary evangelist (well, who is really?)–he travels around preaching crusades to children. It is truly amazing to see him at work, not onlyÂ to see his burden for the youth of our country but also to see how captivating he is. Even the adults who come are on the edges of their seats listening. It’s for this reason that Mr. Dunlop’s calendar is booked two years in advance.
We hosted Ed Dunlop two years ago and immediately booked his earlierst availablility again–but two years later?? That’s such a long time to wait, it seems. But God was at work. If we had booked one year later, we might not have been ready for the big things God was planning to do this year!
Our church runs two vans to pick up friends who need a ride–a mini-van and a fifteen-passenger van. Both have served us well in helping bring more people to church. My wife and I run one of the van routes and enjoy the opportunity to bring more people under the sound of the gospel. But, we were going to need bigger transportation for an upcoming Children’s Crusade.
A few months ago, Pastor Tom Hatley of Tennessee (our staff missionary to China, Natasha Tolson, grew up in his church) donated a school bus to help us start up a bus ministry. And then a few weeks before the Children’s Revival was schedule, Pastor Charles Blackstock of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Dawsonville, loaned one of their buses to us.
We ran a bus route and the fifteen-passenger van all week long. We started about with about ten children visiting on the first night. But, God had even bigger plans. Our workers canvassed neighborhoods and made contacts, and the Lord grew our number of visitors big time! Our largest night held 85 children–not counting the adults who came, too!
But, the most precious reward of that bus route were the 20 children that received Christ as their Savior. Now the follow-up begins.
As the children’s pastor, I challenged our students a long time ago–when we have 40 kids for the Kids of Vision worship service, I would shave my head. I got this idea after I took home the gift of on of the 10 best straight razors in the world! It was a thoughtful gift so I thought I would pay some of that thoughtfulness forward to the community. Kyle, who has been helping me, also joined the challenge and upped it–he agreed to ALSO shave his eyebrows when 50 children came! Well, on our first Sunday service running the bus route after the Children’s Revival, we had 53 kids in the worship service. Needless to say. . . I now have no hair. The children got to enjoy watching our heads get shaved while eating their fill of a HUGE banana split–one longer than the school bus they rode in on! Check out some of the pictures below!