Thursday, July 27, was our last full day in beautiful New Orleans. Along with that, it was our free day to explore and experience what this unique city has to offer. We woke up as usual at 8 AM for breakfast, and then went to the sanctuary in the church for worship and a spiritual recap of this week. Sister Florence and Pastor Collins led us in prayer and song which really started opening up everyone’s hearts to the powerful time of prayer that was to follow. The Holy Spirit was undoubtedly moving through our team that morning. People were on their knees at the alter broken, others were worshipping boldly, and then others were praying with their teammates. Some girls were getting highly emotional; however, the tears that were flowing were not of sadness, but were evidence that the Lord is working something special in the hearts of each person on this team. Once worship concluded with Sister Florence, Pastor Collins circled all of us with them in the middle. The next two hours was so powerful. Pastor Collins would point out specific prayer requests or burdens holding us back from having a spirit of “YES!” and living in the fullness of Christ’s grace and abounding love. This opened my eyes to the power of the Lord and His plan for us, because there is no possible way the Pastor would’ve known what was happening in some of our lives without the Holy Spirit speaking to him.
Following this time of worship and prayer, we had a time of fellowship and food that was prepared by the gracious men of Timothy Trumpet of Truth Church where we lodged for the week. They prepared authentic Cajun food for us, and we weren’t allowed to leave until we had gained at least 10 pounds from the delicious food and the peach cobbler. The rest of the day was filled with joyous fun on the streets of Decatur and Bourbon with the team buying souvenirs and simply being tourists for the day. It was incredible because even though we were doing touristy things our eyes had been opened to the need on the streets of this broken city so we got to speak to, give to, and pray for the people we passed by. Then we went to dinner at a local chain Cajun restaurant; gumbo, red beans and rice, and shrimp were the staples. When we got back from the airport where we dropped off one our new freshman Kaylyn, we hung out, played cards, and made bracelets.
This past week has lit a fire through our team to be a difference on our campus, in our city, and in our country. The trip had God’s hand on it all the way back to last year when Julie was planning it, and it is obvious that we were in New Orleans to express our faith to others by sharing the love that we are first lavished with by our Heavenly Father. We are always a team to be reckoned with, but now we have the best player on our team that cannot be stopped or silenced. Preseason starts in two weeks, and I can hardly contain my excitement because we fully believe that anything is possible with the God who has already claimed the victory.
-Madison Studstill, #33, Junior