At the foot of the Cross

1934311_504386863377_2865_n Granted, for most who gather at a GODencounters Conference there is tremendous inspiration during the worship sessions, encounters cafe fellowship, in the prayer rooms, and in the various activities that are most conspicuous to any event. However for me, some of the best inspirational treasures are found in the “behind the scenes” stories.

Heather, Randy, and Ellie Magray have inspired my encounters with GOD.

The Magrays run their own interior design company, but it seems to be only a store front for the Kingdom passion that GOD has placed upon their hearts for ministry. For nearly a decade they have lent their creativity, leadership, and enthusiasm to Deeper, which now has 400-500 young adults attending each week. Heather is instrumental to transforming the Schmidt Performing Arts Center into a sacred space for worship each week. Randy is regularly involved with the audio/visual aspects of the service. In addition they have offered their skills and personalities to the design and production of Hope Sabbath School, Hope On Fire, Deeper Podcasts, and an assortment of young adult friendly ministries of the Forest Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Their credits go much further, but let me cut to the chase of what most recently inspired me about them. After GODencounters concluded in Florida, the Magrays took down the stages and sets, then packed up fabrics, set, and design materials, as well as their 2-year-old daughter Ellie, to drive up to Tennessee to support the launch of GODencounters for Georgia Cumberland.

1934311_504386788527_8377_nThe stage, prayer room, and green room at the Florida GODencounters Conference were exceptional. We strive to have everything at GODencounters exude the theme, and the Magrays captured well Jubilee in the look and feel of the spaces they crafted.

Orchestrating the set up and take down is no small task. Even with a volunteer team of a couple dozen young adults, it takes significant time and effort. It is hard for me to imagine, finishing up in Florida on Tuesday, packing up and traveling on Wednesday, to arrive in Tennessee on Thursday to start all over again.

1934311_504386873357_5914_nWithout missing a beat, Randy and Heather got right to it helping Lisa Hope and her GODencounters leadership team set the stage and build a prayer room.

1013729_10205360206436220_5154195240553775144_nHeather’s parents came along and pitched right in with setting up, also offered “grandparent” TLC to Ellie. Randy and Heather are a wonder to watch, industrious and artistic, working wonderfully with each other and empowering others to join in creating beautiful spaces for close to nothing.

Errrrr. Scratch that “nothing” comment.

All of this comes at great cost.

Every day they donate to “ministry” is a day that would have been a profitable interior design day. They have contributed thousands of hours to GODencounters not to mention their weekly local church involvement. Donated all at the foot of the cross.

So I want to say thank you to Heather and Randy. Thank you for being passionate GODfollowers and giving so lavishly of your love for Christ. It has turned the routine places of religion into sacred spaces. . . into Holy Ground.

1934311_504386803497_9978_nWith such humility you give and create and transform. Thank you for the beauty you share with us, offering encounters with GOD in spaces that awaken our imagination.

At GODencounters this summer, I found solace, celebration, and surrender. I saw the beauty of GOD in servanthood and humility. At GODencounters I went to the foot of the cross and found the offerings you placed there for Christ. And I was blessed.

12250114_511374785695118_6648563325140518037_nBe sure to check out Heather’s page Sacred Spaces, on Facebook.


About A Allan Martin, PhD

Jeremiah 24/7
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8 Responses to At the foot of the Cross

  1. adam heck says:

    I’ve worked with Randy and Heather for the past 5 years and their devotion to their church and their ministries is amazing. They are two of the friendliest people that I know and even when the stresses of life outside of the church weigh upon them, they buckle and shoes and get to work. They are examples to al of us “young” adults about what devotion to Jesus and a ministry truly is. I value their friendship and their leadership.

  2. Todd says:

    It’s been great getting to know Randy and Heather over the years. I think you would be hard pressed to find a pair of people so passionate and enthusiastic and introducing people to Jesus. They very much prefer to be behind the scenes, not caring at all about praise for the work they’ve done, but instead are focused on creating an atmosphere where their peers might encounter God. That is truly their gift as a couple to the Deeper community. And then when GE rolls around, they step it up another notch and take it to another level. It’s truly a wonderful thing! Like Adam, I also value their friendship and am truly blessed by their personal ministry of creating places of worship that I KNOW God is in!

  3. lisahope says:

    when i first met heather and randy last september on the set of hope on fire, i had no idea they would end up in collegedale in may helping create the sacred spaces for our first GODencounters conference in georgia-cumberland. i’m so incredibly thankful that GOD allowed our paths to cross as they have!

    randy & heather, thank you soooo much for spending yourselves extravagantly for the cause of Christ! we were so blessed by your presence in TN! love you guys!

  4. Kudos!

    Heather and Randy . . . you guys are awesome!

    The spirit of this family is nothing short of amazing and God-breathed.

    The last “prayer” on the wall of the prayer room at Ga-Cumb. GODencounters was an image of Jesus with the crown of thorns on his head. As Heather was coming back to take down the prayer room, several people had already started tearing down the paper off the walls and she wanted to see the final look of the room. She was disappointed she didn’t get to see it before it started to come down. Thankfully, I was able to take a picture of that final drawing of Jesus and show Heather. She teared up and said, “That’s what it’s all about.”

    Heather and Randy are ALL ABOUT JESUS!

    Thanks for being the hands and feet of our wonderful Jesus. You guys definitely have shown me more of what He is like. May your selfless lives continue to be the sweet aroma of Christ.

    Love you guys…

  5. elisa says:

    I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth… it is partly due to the influence of Heather’s creativity that the prayer rooms have started to spread. Because of working with her and learning a little of her creativity (although I will never attain her genius) I was able to lead out in a week of 24-7 prayer at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital in April. Because she had confidence in me and was encouraging from a distance I was able to put together a team and with God’s help and presence hundreds of people were blessed… and it continues! They liked it so much that they didn’t want to tear it down!

    I remember when Heather & Randy first moved to Florida (that was before Ellie) and they added such a passion and creative edge to Deeper. I also remember the conferences that Heather and I attended and the discovery of prayer rooms that we had together. Those are rich memories and such a blessing to me!

    It was great to see you guys this spring and I will continue to pray for your ministry and that God will bless the sacrifices you have made for His Kingdom! Thank you for giving of your hearts and for inspiring so many along the way!

  6. Dany Hernandez says:

    The Magray’s Rock… besides all the decorating stuff… they can cook. Well, at least Heather. We got back from vacation yesterday and they had a home-cooked meal waiting for us at our house… I am not worthy!!!!!!

  7. Chris Donavan says:

    Hey you guys! I was so thrilled to see you help young people with passion. Your efforts for the Kingdom will produce fruit for His glory! Thanks for working so hard so that others can connect to Jesus. Blessings

  8. Annette Heck says:

    So, I’m way late on this, but still wanted to add my thoughts. Heather & Randy are the greatest. I am amazed at their energy and devotion to ministry. It inspires me and challenges me to do more for God. They are at Deeper more times than not, setting up sound or making an otherwise cold, stark stage look inviting. Thank you both for donating so much time and energy year after year. It is awesome to see how you use the creative talents God gave you to bless others!

    You are a blessing to me! Love ya!

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