As you know, "success" isn't about the numbers for us - it's the relationships that form, the trust that builds, and the doors God opens for people to encounter the grace and love of Jesus in the places they least expect to find him.
God has humbled and delighted us with one story in particular this year that we believe paints the picture powerfully of how God is moving and how God wants to move through Light of Love in this industry. We share the story of our dear friend Jordan with his permission.
We met Jordan at Exxxotica a couple years ago. He's the main stage emcee, the guy whose voice hypes up attendees in the crowd and narrates the explicit performances and competitions that happen on stage all weekend.
After a rocky start, friendship and trust built between him and Casey in particular; the usual after-hours gatherings in the hotel lobby turned into conversations of meaning which kept going by phone and FaceTime after the show ended. He was wrestling with faith, occasionally attending church but crying every time he went, unsure why.
The wider team saw God at work and began praying for him and surrounding him with love and care during subsequent shows. He continued seeking God, trusting Casey with moments of deep vulnerability in between shows. At the Chicago convention this year, when our team gathered for our post-show Friday night pizza debrief, Jordan came too. He felt more like himself with us, he said. He noticed that every one of us that he met had a peace, a kindness, a joy he didn't see around him much otherwise. Where he lived, everything was about the hustle and he was good at it but he hated it.
He hung out with the team again at the Miami show in July. The journey was continuing. He came to Seattle for a visit in August. This time, things were different - not only was Jordan "open to God" but he was vulnerably opening his life to God. He wanted change and he had become convinced that God had something better for him than what he had been living. Pastors poured time, love, and prayer into him; he attended worship nights and Bible studies where prayer over him ministered God's healing and left him in tears; he served alongside the LOL team who were leading the activities of an out-of-state mission team - schlepping boxes, cleaning, running errands, and doing anything else needed. And nearing the end of the trip, he gushed about how astounded he was by everything that had been happening to him and in him and around him on that trip.
In the two months that followed, he broke up with his girlfriend and fired his counselor whose perspective he no longer found helpful. He called one of the young men who had poured into him in Seattle during his visit. "Can I come live in your basement for a while? And will you teach me how to follow Jesus?"
The young man's answer was "yes." Jordan came to Seattle with a one-way ticket about two months ago. Especially since his move, he has openly shared with other staff about Jesus being the source of the (positive) changes people have noticed in him, which has in turn awakened faith conversation and curiosity from staff we know and love. He is being discipled by trustworthy leaders, growing in his knowledge of the Bible, and is planted in healthy community. His presence and his heart are a gift, and we cannot thank God enough.
Would you keep praying for Jordan?
Pray that he will continue to know Jesus in a personal relationship and that he will continue to grow in his God given identity and purpose. Pray for the wisdom and discernment of those who are investing in him at this time.
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Be a part of Jordan's story today!