Saturday, April 18, 2009


                                              ARROWHEAD STADIUM

                                  THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
                                           WRITTEN BY A HIRED OBSERVER
Bob and Kathryn were close friends that helped us in our walk with the Lord.  We were having prayer meetings and praise parties in their home in Delphos.   We also were having weekend seminars, we rented a rural school that had 3 class rooms,  kitchen and an auditorium with a stage.  This made an ideal place for a 3 day spiritual weekend.   We were surprised at the turnout.  People came from a large area.  They were hungry for the Lord.

In 1977 there was an International Conference on the Holy Spirit being held in Kansas City.   We decided to go.   Another couple said we could stay with them with some of their relation.  Just 3 days before the conference they told us there wasn't room.  This left us with out any place to stay.  This conference was world wide.  We started calling for room reservations and we got the same answer from all of them:  " we have been booked for months".  The closest place we found was in Topeka 70 miles away.  We kept calling each day hoping that there would be a cancellation or something.  We finally gave up.   The night before the conference Darlene said call this one again, so I called and they said they had an open room.   Two other couples wanted to go but they wanted us to check out the meetings  for them first.

  On the way to the conference we stopped at a truck stop to get a drink.  While we were there a small Ford station wagon pulled in by us, it was from California.  When they opened the doors out came 12 adult people, 5 or 6 different nationalities.  We couldn't believe how they all got in there.  They were on their way to the conference.  We started visiting with them.  They told us they were all from California.  We asked where they were staying and  they said they couldn't  find any place but they were going any way, The Lord would take care of them.  And He did. We visited with them at the conference and they said a Catholic convent took them in.

  We arrived at the motel to get our room. They said we didn't have a room there,  they had been booked full for six months.  I gave them my confirmation number and they just laughed at me and said 'no room'.   I went back to the car and just sat there wondering what to do.  Finally my wife told me to go back in there and tell them we have a room here and here is our confirmation number.  So I went back in and there was a line of people waiting to check in.  The man behind the counter looked at me then took a set of keys and threw them to me and said:  "Here is your room keys and you are not supposed to have a room here".  That really let us know the Lord was with us.

   We headed out to Arrowhead stadium for the first night of the conference.  We knew it would be a once in a life time experience but we were not ready for what we saw and EXPERIENCED. When we arrived  there the parking lot was row after row of buses with banners with all kind of Christian symbols and scripture verses.  Prayer groups from all over the world were marching, carrying their banners and singing.  It was pageantry at its best--like a movie, only no human had directed it!  When we got inside the stadium there were 65,000 people singing and praising God all in one accord.  The presence of the Lord was so strong--it was like nothing we had ever seen or heard before.

At one point during the evening during singing of a hymn (Holy God We Praise Thy Name) and prayer we knelt on the concrete for 45 minutes.  No one could believe it had been that long.  A young man across the aisle from us stood holding a small child in one arm and the other arm upraised for hours.  Later we learned that they were from Minnesota and their car had broken down so he was working on the car in the daytime and attending the conference at night.

During the evening one of the speakers made the comment that "We've read the end of the book and WE WIN!!!"  The huge, joyous, enthusiastic crowd came to their feet cheering and praising God.  The scoreboard was flashing "TOUCHDOWN!!  JESUS IS LORD!!  TOUCHDOWN!! and it was after midnight when we left the stadium.  

When we got back to our motel our phone was flashing.  It was a message from the two couples that stayed home.  We called them and they said they had tried to rent a camper but couldn't but they were going to come anyway.  After we hung up I called the desk and asked if anyone had checked out today because we had friends coming and they needed a room.  He told me "No, and you're not even supposed to have the room you are in".  When I got up in the morning I went to the lobby to get some coffee.  I asked the clerk if they had any rooms and he said "some people just moved out of a room with two beds in it".  I said "we'll take it", and guess where the room was---it was a room adjoining ours!!  so we could open the door between us and be together.  

During the day they had seminars downtown led by every denomination you can think of and you could pick which ones you wanted to go to.  One of the seminars we attended was in a room with 10,000 Catholics.  They had made provision with a vending company to feed us a sack lunch at noon.  It was quite a sight to see 50,000 plus people eating from their sacks.   It took about 10 minutes to feed everyone!!  It was very well organized with plenty of serving lines.

Each evening we went out to Arrowhead stadium.  It was the largest convention they had ever had in Kansas City.  Headlines in the Kansas City Star read "THE MOST COURTEOUS DRIVING WE HAVE EVER SEEN!!" of all the traffic to the stadium.  Another headline read "PROSTITUTION DOWN---ICE CREAM SALES UP!!".  There were also comments about the lack of litter and the cleanness of the stadium.

There were many great speakers at the 4 evenings of the convention.  One evening President Jimmy Carter called and spoke to us by phone.  His sister, who was attending the convention, also spoke to us.  

On Sunday morning we attended Mass at the stadium.  Over 500 priests marched in in procession wearing white robes.  It was very hot!!  A cloud came over and it started to rain on us.  Everyone immediately started praying that we wouldn't get rained out.  The cloud moved, the sun came out, and it was cool, a beautiful day.

It would take a book to tell all the little things that happened, things we saw and heard.  It was an experience we will never forget!!    

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