city on a hill cannot be hidden!
The candlelighting on the 2nd night was really amazing. We heard that there were 70,000 people at the evening concerts. So, after sundown they turned off all the stage and side lights and gave us all candles. Then somebody down in the front lit their candle and then the person's next to them and so on until all of our candles were lit. It was hard to get a really good picture since we didn't have a tripod, but I think you get the idea of how amazing it was. It was a vivid reminder that a
Creation is on Agape Farm. It is in the middle of nowhere and, I think, has electricity only on one end of the farm. To give you an idea of the farm: At one end was the farmhouse and barn. The hot showers that we had paid extra to use were also at that end. From there as you walked towards the central "arena" area, there were tents, tents, and more tents. There was also a small area that had some games for kids and a skateboarding area. Then there was the fringe stage which is where a lot of the groups that appealed to a more limited audience were. Just beyond that were shops, offices, etc. Then there was the stage and a huge empty field that was the "arena". Behind the arena were more concession stands and some huge buildings where interest groups could set up tables of information or stuff to sell. Then on the other side of the stage and on and on were more tents and campers. Then a big field that was a parking lot for day visitors. Finally beyond that was our field where we camped. The other half of our field was also a parking area.
Here are Steve and John setting up our tents. We had a little square area the length of our van. So the Nunemakers had a little plot of ground and we had a little plot. We had three tents: Nunemakers, ours, and Luke's and still had plenty of room for a little table and a place to cook. Looking down the field you could see rows and rows of tents.
The first night a huge thunderstorm came. We had to wait it out in our van. Then the next day it rained off and on....mostly when it was time to cook. The 2nd full day we woke up to rain and we just stayed in our tents and slept until about 8:00. It was kind of nice since we never get to do that in Niger! After that it cleared and we mostly had sunny conditions.
It was pretty simple camping...port-a-pots, the water for cooking was clear across the field and, worst of all, the hot showers we had paid for were clear down at the other end of the farm. We estimated that we had to walk a mile to the showers! I only took two while I was there. That was a $5.00 shower!!! But if I'd had to take cold showers I probably wouldn't have had any shower!
The concerts were good. They had lesser known people on in the morning, then better known people in the afternoon, and the really well-known groups in the evening. The concerts or special events went on until about 11:30 every night. There were about three messages a day and during that time all the shops and stands closed down. I really liked the emphasis they put on the Word of God. Here are Steve and Joanna enjoying one of the concerts. Actually, it looks like they were waiting for something to happen! They were braver than us and went right up to the "mosh pit" for some of the concerts. Suzanne's roommate, Tam, was working at Creation. Here they are sporting little frisbees from the Toby Mac concert. Check out the lady behind them!!! She has her fingers in her ears!
It was a fantastic experience, even for inexperienced campers. It was definitely one of those never-to-be-forgotten experiences!