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.
The 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.
Heather’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.
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.
Be sure to check out Heather’s page Sacred Spaces, on Facebook.