Recently the town where I work, Portsmouth, Ohio was invaded. The word invasion can take on different meanings, in this case the town was invaded by the Spirit of God, through an event called City Invasion.
The event was held at Spartan Municipal Stadium. For months prior to the event, volunteers and organizers canvassed the area with promotional material. The event was held with a great deal of anticipation about the amount of people that may attend. Before the event, one city official said organizers were anticipating as many as 20,000 people to be in attendance! Invasion filled Spartan Municipal Stadium with various performers booths and activities for participants to take part in. I have to admit I showed up to the event a couple hours into it, by the time I got there the group, We As Human, were taking the stage. Although they are not the type of band I listen to all of the time, I was impressed with the amount of people that were there for the show. After a while there was some BMX riders and pro-skateboarders that gave demonstrations.
Right after the artist Thi’sl’s performance, event organizer Amy Lambert took the stage to address the thousands of people in attendance. Lambert told the crowd about her life experience when it came to drugs and being an addict. She said it was because of a message she received from God in 2009 that she changed her life around and began working on what would become City Invasion.
After her testimony, Lambert extended an invitation for those that might have been moved by her testimony to be prayed for by a team of ministers that were standing by. Out of the thousands of people in attendance I would guess several hundred went to the tent to be prayed for. At this point I was sitting at the top of the home bleachers in the stadium to get a perspective on the amount of people in attendance. After those that wanted to be prayed for arrived at the tent, the remainder of the crowd was invited to join them in support. Several more people went to the tent in support. The invitation was also afforded to those in attendance to get baptized that night by local ministers. Several accepted the invitation and were baptized.
Seeing this take place from a ‘birds eye view’ it brought a tear to my eye. To me, it was evident the Spirit of God had a hand in this event . It also reminded me that we live in a community that can sometimes be divided on a lot of issues and topics, but during that time and experience we were not a divided community, but a community celebrating and rejoicing with those making the choice to follow a God that brought us all together in the first place. Was this area ready for City Invasion? I would venture to say we were more than ready. And for those that chose to be prayed for or baptized that night, their life was invaded and hopefully changed as a result.