“Dear Jesus, please don’t let us run out of gas.”
The gas light was on, and everyone but the driver and myself were asleep. We were in the middle of Nowhere, ND, and there was not a gas station for 16 miles. I couldn’t help but think to myself how much of a rookie mistake it was not to keep the gas tank above half-full while in the country. Oh well. Just when it looked like the Lincoln Young Professionals would be walking to their Fargo destination, the Lord granted us a miracle. We were able to fill up, and we arrived to our perspective sleeping houses by 3am. Did I mention the Northern Lights? Some will say that they were just a line of clouds, but I stand strong. It was the Aurora Borealis. Period.
Later on Friday morning, after very few hours of sleep, we joined up at one of the pastors houses of Submerge Church. Submerge is a church plant from Cottonwood Church in Grand Forks. Submerge is still in its beginning stages and just over two years old. The reason for our trek to Fargo was to help spread the word of the growing church and support them in any way possible.
Reaching out to people was our plan, and we had two objectives: 1) invite people to church/open mic night (Fargoans are so hip), and 2) share the Gospel. That was it.
We put on our backpacks, which made me feel like a student again (GO ROCKERS), and began our adventure outside of, wait for it, a Viking Festival in Moorhead, MN. No joke. VIKINGS. One group stood on each side of the entrance with hopes of talking to festival goers and invite them to church. My partner and I had the privilege to talk to a woman who ended up being a Christian, but gave us the opportunity to share our faith and why we believe in Jesus.
After lunch, we were back across the river in Fargo and talking about Jesus for the rest of the afternoon. After an exhausting and invigorating day out, we ended with stories of our adventures that day, people we spoke to, and the arrival of Candlewood-Omaha to the crew. Dozens of church invites were given out and many great conversations were had. Somehow, and I do consider this a miracle, my porcelain skin did not fry. Halleluia.
Saturday brought more folks from Omaha to join our mission. With the same objectives as Friday and the addition of helping out at the Boys and Girls Club, our forces split up to once again conquer the streets of Fargo. Submerge is currently meeting in a gymnasium of the Boys and Girls Club and graciously donated some basketball hoops. I hear there were some interesting stories while building those hoops and apparently using instructions was just a suggestion…
That evening was my favorite part of the trip. While Candlewood outnumbered the amount of people present, it was the presence of the members of Submerge Church that embraced the evening. Their hospitality was overwhelming. You could feel the love that this group of people had for each other. It reminded me of the fellowship talked about in the early years of the Christian church in Acts. The joy they had and the love they showed for each other and us was inspiring.
The final day was the Submerge Church service. We had the privilege to experience a worship service with an accent. It was there that I got to see how the Lord can do mighty things with a small number of willing servants. The music was expertly led by one of the Submerge pastors with his ukulele and had subtle undertones of the accordion. The message was brilliantly delivered and went straight to the heart. You couldn’t help but feel like big things were going to happen with these people and God’s glory would be shown through their lives.
How did my experience in Fargo affect me? It reminded me that God can do great things with a small amount of people. It reminded me why I chose to do Christian ministry. It reminded me that God’s love can change lives. It made me want to know God more and further transform into the person he wants me to be. It made me want to be brave, take risks for the sake of the Gospel, and tell the world of Christ’s sacrifice.
I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something aboot Fargo…