Highland Festival 2009: a look back
Lord Mackay takes a 'Look Back' at the Highland Festival outreach conducted in the summer of 2009 by Luis Palau and members of his team. Working with local churches events were held all around the Highlands to bring the message of Jesus Christ.
AS we are fully launched into this new year, it is good to look back at the blessings the Lord brought our way in 2009.
For many of us, a good portion of the year was devoted to the preparations for the Highland Festival with Luis Palau. Although the festival itself took place toward the end of June, the work continued for several months as churches followed up with those who made faith commitments, the final funds were raised, bills were paid, and various arrangements were concluded.
Some of you have asked for a final report on the results of that effort. Although the Luis Palau Association sent out some information, I know that some of you may not have received that communication. I am therefore sending you this overview.
It is such a pleasure to report that all of the necessary funds were indeed raised, and all of the expenses were paid. This is thanks to the generosity of many individuals and churches. Many of you were involved not only through your financial support, but also in the preparations and practical ministry that touched so many lives.
When we first began praying about partnering with Luis Palau and his team, we really had no idea how large the scope of the festival would be. We had envisioned a weekend festival where Christ would be shared in a contemporary fashion that would have greater appeal to young people. Not only was the attendance at that event much larger than we anticipated, the Lord opened so many other doors:
- Eight Highland communities hosted "mini-festivals."
- Teams of young evangelists and Christian athletes shared Christ and talked about issues such as drug and alcohol abuse with more than 10,000 students in schools throughout the Highlands.
- In some villages these teams simply "hung out" with kids and shared their testimonies after the events of the day had concluded.
- 300 women gathered at a beautiful luncheon at Beaufort Castle to hear Luis share the Gospel.
- More than 200 business people met at the Drumossie Hotel for the same purpose.
- For two nights the All Souls Orchestra performed at Eden Court and Luis preached to a near- capacity crowd.
- On June 19-20 in Bught Park, 7,000 people turned out to hear the Gospel shared in many different settings.
In the end, 20,000 people heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and hundreds were drawn to faith. We will never know the true results of those weeks of ministry. In a school setting where no invitation could be given, how many students turned toward Christ? Only our Lord knows.
You were part of all this. Whether you gave financially, served, or simply came with a friend, the part you played was invaluable. If you are one of the many who discovered a new relationship with Christ, we encourage you to walk in your newfound faith with determination and with joy. If you have served the Lord for many years, we hope that you will take a great deal of pleasure in what God did and in the fact that you were an important part of that process.
On behalf of the executive committee of Highland Festival with Luis Palau and the 100+ supporting churches around the Highlands, we thank you for standing with us and for praying with us. We also offer our warmest thanks to Luis Palau for being obedient to God and for coming to the Highlands. Please pray for Luis and his team as they continue to minister around the world.
Lord James MacKay
Editor's Footnote: Revisit the reports and pictures on Christians Together (below) and feel free to add your recollections in the 'Comments' section.