I must apologize … I meant to get this post out right after SonShine Festival but a much needed vacation followed a day after the Festival, followed by multiple computer issues (errggh!!) … so this took a lot longer than it should have but I think we’re back on track now.
So, anyway, you remember that Cross The World was attending SonShine for our second year in July. My husband (Ernie) and I weren’t able to attend at all last year and so we were a little apprehensive about what we were going to find. All we thought we knew about SonShine was loud, heavy metal music that resounded all the way to our home some 30 miles away and we really weren’t looking forward to that! But, being good little troopers, we signed up for our work shifts and kept our fingers crossed for the best.
The Festival started on Wednesday afternoon and the weather was HOT, HOT, HOT! In fact, it was so hot inside the Civic Center where all the vendors had set up, that, on Wednesday afternoon and night, little puddles of (to be politically correct) water dripped to the floor from everyone who stopped to visit with us. Did I mention it was HOT, HOT, HOT?? (Needless to say, all of us vendors walked in with our own circulating fans the next morning!)
In spite of the heat, the crowd appeared to be energetically charged with the yet to come SonShine experience and eager to find out what us vendors were all about. Ernie and I joined them; we, too, were eager to find out what SonShine was all about.
Our booth was located in the middle of the first vendor row, snuggled between a lovely couple selling beautiful Christian jewelry from California and CTI Music Ministries, a group that promotes young musicians to minister worldwide through their Christian music.
It didn’t take long for us to make a spectacle of ourselves!
Normally, when we give our crosses away, they are already assembled complete with a message hangtag. But, for this venue, we wanted people to have the experience of making their own cross so we provided them the 2 pieces of wood, the hangtag and the string … along with a hammer and some swingin’ room. Let the pounding begin!!
The response to our crosses was overwhelming, with wave after wave of individuals or groups coming up to us, asking if they could make their very own cross. As the week went on, these people would come back to make another cross for someone they knew or to replace the one they had given away. And, so, day after day, more and more crosses were literally walking around the Festival grounds or quantities being carried home by the bags for church mission work. Cross The World touched a lot of lives in 3 ½ days … we gave away over 5600 crosses from Wednesday through Saturday. Whew!
Ernie and I were at SonShine every day, in one capacity or another. And, we were pleasantly surprised by how much we both enjoyed being on the grounds. The people were friendly and polite, the music was pleasant and uplifting, the speakers were engaging … it was truly a wonderful spiritual experience for us! We could feel God at work as we visited with people. It was calm … it was peaceful … We were all there, working for one purpose, and He was showing us how much He loves us for being his disciples! It was a dynamite experience … one that Ernie and I are totally looking forward to participate in again next year!
Maybe some of you reading this blog post stopped by our booth and didn’t introduce yourselves. Or, maybe, when you stopped by, we weren’t there to meet you. Either way, we’re glad you came; our hope is that the crosses you picked up have found their way into the hands of those who need some encouragement. Let us know when your supply runs short. If you didn’t attend this year, please give it some thought for next year … you, too, will be pleasantly surprised!
Here are some photos taken during SonShine. My favorite part of all these shots is the smile … not only the one of the face of the person being photographed but the smile brought to our hearts knowing that God’s love was made visible that day, one cross at a time. Enjoy!
This young man assembled 105 crosses so he could give them away to his friends!
Everyone, regardless of age, wanted to build a cross!
And, lastly, we want to thank the following individuals or churches who partnered with us during July:
Betsy – Minnesota
Susan – Minnesota
Alroy – Minnesota, for mission work in Mexico
Carla – Minnesota
Sue – Minnesota
Tara – Missouri, for mission work in Chicago
Grace Lutheran Church, Becker, MN
Kristin – Minnesota
Roger – Minnesota
Toni – Minnesota
Monica – Montana
Nyla – Minnesota, for mission work in the Ukraine
James – Minnesota
Janelle – Minnesota
Battle Lake Alliance Church, Underwood, MN
Stephanie – Minnesota, for mission work in Miami