Friday, July 24, 2015

Heritage 2015

Hey, I'm back! When I said the next part was coming soon, I meant it. Haha! I am so anxious to read Hanna and Mary's account of Heritage on their blogs, but I don't want to until I write out my own. They've put a fire under me! :) 
(This is my second time posting today - if you missed it go back!! "Tuuuuurn back, old man...."

More than a year ago, Cherie and I started discussing the idea of going to Heritage. We'd never been before, but have heard so many good things about it. The idea of going to a new place, meeting new people, and - I ain't gonna lie - going to Whit's End, was exciting to us. I remember the night we decided that YES, this was something we wanted. We were going to start saving, start planning, and experience the incredible Heritage. 
It is funny because in the end, without any discussion between the rest of us, a ton of our friends ended up coming out for it as well. It was perfect and we had the time of our lives! 
Heritage Apostolic Church (formerly First Pentecostal Church of Colorado Springs)
The conference opened up with the choir singing "We've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord. Trusting in His Holy Word, He's never failed me yet." The perfect start to what turned out to be a life-changing conference. 

When I say we had the time of our lives, I do not mean just Whit's End and hanging out together. We were able to witness some of the most powerful moves of God we've ever seen. The theme of Heritage this year was "Three Score and Ten", which meant all of the speakers were over seventy years old. The messages preached were geared towards this generation of young people. Elder Jackson preached the first night "Who's Going to Tell It When We're Gone?" Whether you went to this conference or not, I highly encourage you to buy the CDs - here! You WILL be blessed! (Yes, you! :)
Elder Jackson
Cherie and Denae
Finding open restaurants after church was quite a deal....
To my surprise, Colorado Springs is not a big city with lots of restaurants and night life. Which is why I was forced to answer the incessantly ringing phone at the understaffed Denny's...
Hi, this is Denny's. How can I help you?
Thursday morning in pre-service prayer, I was being very prayerful, but apparently people were playing games beside me. 
Can you spot the cockroach? 
(it's fake, but still...)
Things would've gotten pretty exciting, had I seen the bug at the time....
Elder Pickleseimer and Elder Morton preached the morning service. Two of Elder Pickleseimer's "sons in the gospel", Bro. Yarbrough and Bro. Collins, sat with him on the platform and helped him up to the pulpit to preach.

 As soon as he stepped behind the pulpit you could feel the Holy Ghost. It was so, so moving. 
 
A trio from Pastor Collin's church in Idaho singing a song Elder Pickleseimer wrote, "Angels are watching over me..."
Bishop Johnson
Sis. Jones singing
Elder Morton preached the second session - he is a ball of fire! I love hearing him preach. 
"Old Time Pentecost!"
After church we went to the Olive Garden. 
Mary, me, Nicole, Cherie, Cara, Hanna, and Coco's selfie stick on the side
Having too much fun! 
Johnny, Andrew, Cara, Cherie, Coco, me, Nicole, Hanna, Denae, Mary, and Nathaniel
Apparently it is a "thing" among young people in the U.S. to go to the music store and jam out on the instruments? This was my first time, but it was HILARIOUS. Since Andrew pretty much only knows how to play "How Great is Our God", that's what we did. Haha! 
"How Great is Our God...IN C!"
Cherie, Andrew, Hanna, me, and Cara 
In the guitar room
(Cara and Cherie on the "fiddles".)
I got to meet one of my fellow bridal party members from Kassia's wedding that ended up not being able to make it. Congrats, Hillary on your baby girl on the way! 
Thursday night there was a Ministers and Minister's Wives Choir. I can honestly say I've never heard a more awesome sounding choir, not to mention anointed and powerful! They sang Through It All and Peace of God Cover Me. It was absolutely beautiful. After that they sang Apostolic Meeting in the Air/Goodbye World, Goodbye. The place went up in smoke!!! We were dancing and jumping and shouting all over the place! There are so many great moments that I wish I could either recreate or go back to, and this is one at the top. Nothing else in the world mattered, it was just the people of God, the Holy Ghost and some beautiful, fiery old songs! 

We had to get to church two hours before each service to be able to get a seat. It was CRAZY. It was funny to realize that just because people were sitting on the back rows, didn't mean they were working their way out of church completely, lol. The people in the back were just as on fire as the people in the front! We just didn't all fit on the front pew...
(Thankfully we did manage to get pretty good seats for most of the services.)
The Rod of God - Elder Godair 
After church Thursday night we went to the youth lock-in.
Although I usually have fun, it's something I pretty much regret going to from the moment I walk in, to the time I wake up the next morning.

I love this picture - Andrew was telling us all a whopper of a story about the time he got caught up in a fight between gang members and they sliced off the top of his ear. He does have the "scar" to prove it, but turns out it is hereditary.
Anyways, someone got a picture of our faces during the telling of the story. This perfectly captures me and Nicole's personalities. Me - judging and cynical, Nicole - believing everything and on the verge of panic. LOL! When Andrew got to the part where the gang member pulled out his knife Nicole was shrieking, "No no no! Andrew no!" Hahahahaha.


Cara speaking to the suggestion box - haha!



Coco's better half :)
(The soda, not Cara. Well, who knows, actually...HA.)
Friday a.m. - "I'm tiiiiiiired..."
Friday was the most exhausting day, and the most intense one. We were working off of little sleep, but the services were just incredible. The morning service started again with more beautiful old hymns. 


Elder D.C. Moody preached what was supposed to be the first session - it ended up being the only one. We had an amazing service. He started off by singing House of Gold. I know I keep describing everything as "beautiful", but it's the best word for it. I'm so glad I have it recorded. 
"Don't Throw Away Your Future Thinking About Your Past"
I have to be honest and say that I don't remember hardly anything Elder Moody said, all I remember is the move of God afterwards. Elder Picklesimer shuffled up to the front, whispered something in Elder Moody's ear real quick then turned around to go back to his seat, but Elder Moody set off to shouting like a wild man. By the time Elder Picklesimer got back to his seat and said something to Pastor Burgess, he started shouting and dancing, out of control then fell out prostrate on the platform. One by one, the preachers on the platform just started going crazy. I asked the people I was sitting next to later on if they'd seen it, but they were praying. (I guess praying with your eyes open isn't so bad, after all...) 
No one was sure exactly what had happened up there until the night service. Turns out, God told Bro. Picklesimer that a seed of revival had been planted in this conference that would extend to the whole world. I am believing this to be for us here in Mexico!!! 

Elder Morton preached the last night. He called all the elders up and had them stand behind him. He explained that this could be the last time we saw all of these elders together. The responsibility was now being passed down to us to carry the torch of Truth. What were we going to do? Would we be wise and hold to the old paths or would be be foolish? 
"Will You Be a Wise Man or a Fool?"
"One generation passeth away...."
There's no possible way to describe the move of God that fell after after Elder Morton preached. After we prayed for a while that holy hush fell over the congregation where you know there is about to be tongues and interpretation. I don't remember everything that was said, but God let us know that he had sent us strength to face the perilous days coming. Not only would individuals get discouraged in the days to come, but entire congregations. We are going to think that God has left us, but He is going to bring this conference to our memories and we will remember that we are not alone, that He will not leave us - as long as we submit and obey. The Lord sent us strength and power in these services to return to our churches and face the darkness. However, if we do not submit and obey, God's strength and power will leave us.

After this they just turned the lights down, the music stopped, and everybody just started praying. I've never witnessed a more powerful move of God, never felt something like I did that night.

A couple times throughout the conference there was a song sung called Carry the Torch. It has really powerful words and I think it perfectly sums up the whole conference.

We will carry the torch, we will lift high the flame.
We will march through the darkness with the light of His Name,
Until the glory of God is seen by the world. We will carry the torch of the Lord. 

~Bethany~

P.S. - I just went and read Mary and Hanna Kifle's posts on Heritage. If you want to read more, go read their blogs. They are really really good. It is wonderful to go back and remember!! 

5 comments:

Cherie Marchbanks said...

Aaaaahhhh.....what a week. What a landmark!! How thankful I am for this past week and what we experienced...I pray we never forget it!

And what FUN!! It was refreshing in every way possible.

Love my friends and excited for our future!

Hanna said...

Beautiful!

Kendra Thaler said...

Sounds like it was a blessing!!

Allana S. said...

That was an incredible meeting. God moved mightily. I would have to agree with @cherie, it was a time of refreshing!

Thank you, Cortez family, for hanging with us humble missionaries! Hahahaha JK We love ya'll.

Joshua Lopez said...

I read, I laughed, and then I wept and am going this moment to pray. No doubt seed has been planted and I want to be counted with the wise. Thanks so much for sharing!

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