With only two weeks left of being out on the streets and having the centre open, I have been thinking about the story of this summer. I've just got in from another night out and about and decided to let you see an editing extract of a much longer story I sent to all who came here to help us prepare and also to serve on teams:
Our summer story is full of heroes but very few villains; actually the one villain we are all fighting against is losing ground in Ibiza because of the many heroes involved in this story. Heroes who came and did small things and great things; they came because they serve a King who will ultimately triumph.
The heroes who served on teams and contributed there time to make summer happen don't look particularly heroic, or even feel particularly heroic; they are simply loyal and trusting and know that the King they serve, the great unstoppable force, will prevail. Our summer is a story of heroic servants who came to a small yet beautiful island to serve their King.
Behind the story of those who came physically to serve lie other heroes, people you may never meet and whose names are not even written down. The quiet ones who gave cash generously and enthusiastically to make it happen - their contribution was as great as any other. The churches that regularly support us and cheer us on. The people who pray, here and in other lands, pleading with God to bless Ibiza, her residents and visitors. The story I often write about is the story seen on centre stage - a visible story - but make no mistake, without the invisible backstage heroes, there is no story.
At a bare minimum these heroes prayed for more than 1000 man hours in the west end; no wonder the kingdom is advancing. Miles walked, drunks helped, vulnerable people protected, lonely people listened to, workers befriended, prayer requests taken, bibles handed out, conversations had, hands held in prayer, food bought, gifts given, tears wiped, hands with urine on, clothes with puke on, smiles dished out, worship given, prayers walked, sites seen - and most of these heroes who came danced! This is what heroes do in this kingdom, they dance. They move their lives to a different rhythm, one that is all about serving. They don't want to be known as heroes; they just want to dance to the rhythm set by their own hero, Jesus, whose life they try to express and way they try to live in. It's all about King Jesus, our real hero, for his glory and His fame.
So this summers story is about 90 people. People who came to Ibiza and served as heroes. When I stand and tell the stories to other people or write them on this blog, they are our stories, not mine; when we look back in years to come, we will know that whatever has been built, will have been built by people who came and served with us here. His Kingdom and His love and His reign will know no end because our teams and visitors shone like stars in the universe.
They served their King heroically and I salute them, one and all.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'