The year was 1972, and I had just graduated from high school. Although I had made a decision for Christ in junior high school, I still didn’t understand much about the Christian life. I would pick up the Bible to read but it make no sense to me.
That all began to change when I began a journey of searching for God. I went on a graduation trip to Florida with my girlfriends. That week turned out to be a bunch of high school kids going wild, but I did all I could to stay faithful to what I knew about God.
Then the following week I went to a Christian conference in Dallas called Explo 72. There were 80,000 students from all over the United States attending, and I could see a huge difference between the scene in Florida, where everyone there seemed to be living to serve their own pleasure, and this conference where the students wanted to serve Christ.
At the end of the night they gave everyone a candle. On the stage, one lit candle doubled to two, then four, and quickly the entire stadium was glowing with candles of people who were willing to take Christ to the world. Many have said that was the key event of the Jesus Movement that reached so many people in the 1970’s. It was a great moving of the Holy Spirit. And it was the beginning my life being turned upside down as well.
And now, 43 years later, the impact of that one week in Dallas continues to grow. A new film called Woodlawn tells about a football team in Birmingham that experienced a spiritual revival led by a man who was affected by attending Explo 72.
I want to encourage you to watch the movie trailer, and then see the movie in the theaters and ask God to use the movie to challenge you to be the light into the darkness in the job and community God has put you in. Who knows-perhaps a new Jesus movement might start with just ordinary people like you and me.
Merry is the Executive Director of Marketplace Connection. She loves sharing Christ love with women. Something that started at Explo 72.