Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Spring Blizzard and an Amazing Worship Experience

All day yesterday, my friend Sandy (fellow Christian concert junkie) and I kept anxiously looking out the window hoping the weather was going to cooperate for us to get to our concert. I was on KFYR's website all day keeping tabs on the weather and really couldn't believe some of the photos I was seeing.

Western North Dakota was getting hit with a major blizzard - some parts had 12 inches of snow with 60 mph winds. Trees were uprooted, falling on vehicles and houses, cattle were lost out in the pastures, power was out and even the Bakken Oilfield was shut down due to power outages.

Blizzard hits Watford City, downs trees on April 30, 2011. Photo by Cindy Kummer Wollan
The concert started at 7:30 p.m. and at around 2:00 p.m. things did not look so good. The rain had turned to snow which was really coming down and the wind was blowing hard. Many roads, including the Interstate were closed.

Me and Sandy held out hope that things would clear up. And they did! Although the wind came and went in strong gusts, the snow was no longer coming down. We arrived at the Belle Mehus to find a packed house. The weather had not seemed to deter anyone who had a ticket to see Shaun Groves, Aaron Shust and Selah.

The concert was amazing! It was like a glorified church service with 800 people. Not only did we hear great music from the artists, we heard mini-sermons, testimonies and their passion for the organization, Compassion International in which you can sponsor a child for $38/month.

They also shared a heartbreaking story of their bus driver who lost three close friends in the tornadoes in Alabama. One of the victims was a soldier who had just finished his tour in Iraq and he, his wife and child were all killed. The bus driver also had other friends who were still missing.

But on the other side, we also heard many funny stories and the audience laughed when Shaun Groves was razzin' a guy in the front row for being on his cell phone. Aaron Shust brought the house down with his "rap" he had just written that night for Bismarck and the fact that snow is just not cool in May! After singing his newly written song, he reached down and gave his note cards to a girl in the first row.

Aaron Shust, 2007 GMA Songwriter of the Year, New Artist of the Year

Amy from the band Selah, received a standing ovation after singing a song she wrote about the emotional and spiritual healing she had recently experienced. Even though she was not feeling well and was getting over a sinus infection and problems with her vocal cords, she sounded absolutely amazing.

Some of my favorite songs the artists on stage sang included Welcome Home by Shaun Groves, My Savior, My God by Aaron Shust - also his new song Take Over was absolutely beautiful.

Shaun Groves brought tears to my eyes when he sang "Welcome Home"

Selah did a rockin' version of the old hymn, There is Power in the Blood. They also sang It is Well. They said they had sung some of these hymns to a crowd of highschoolers and someone actually came up to them and said, "Wow that song It is Well is pretty cool, did you write that?!" (The hymn was written in 1873). Selah also sang an awesome new song Shelter Me and for a grand finale, all of the artists came back on stage together to sing one of my all time favorites - Mighty to Save.

Selah sings their classic "You Raise Me Up"

Aaron Shust, Shaun Groves and Selah all singing "Mighty to Save"
Even though it was 27 degrees outside and the wind made it feel well below zero, I was feeling all warm and fuzzy after such an amazing worship experience. Thank you weather, for not standing in our way! 

Another fun moment was when Todd from Selah taught us an African praise song and had the two ladies on stage sing parts of it into the microphone. The ladies were leading a caravan from Glen Ullin to St. Paul for the Women of Faith event.

It was especially great to see the young people worship the Lord

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