Vespers testimonies to show God’s grace despite difficult trials

Testimonies of trial and surrender will be the theme of this semester’s second Vespers program titled “Lord, Here am I,” which will be presented on Oct. 17 at 7 and 8:30 p.m. in Rodeheaver Auditorium.

Directed by Mrs. Corretta Grass, a faculty member in the department of communication studies, the presentation will feature various musical pieces and choir ensembles, including a piano quartet, a harp ensemble and a small student choir, as well as a narrative storyline.

The theme of the program is Christians’ availability to be used wherever and whenever in ministry. “We, as Christians, need to be ready and willing to be used wherever God wants,” Grass said.

The narrative portion of the program will focus on three testimonies from different people who have endured hardships, but chose to turn their experiences into a witnessing opportunity.

Tabitha Brown, who spoke during Bible Conference last spring, will give a video testimony during the program. Brown served as a missionary in India but is currently in the United States on medical leave.

Sterling Street, a sophomore theatre arts major, and Casey Brighton, a sophomore English education major, will portray the testimony of 1st Lt. Matt Templeton and wife, Kelli, in the style of a reader’s theater. Matt was severely injured in Afghanistan while serving in the U.S. military and underwent several months of difficult surgeries and therapy sessions before getting on the road to permanent recovery.

“I’m so convicted by their testimonies, that they could say to the Lord, ‘I want to yield to you; take my life and use it how you want it,’” Street said.

Last, Ben Nicholas, a junior communication major, will narrate the story of Todd Lurtey, a Bob Jones Academy student who died of cancer last May. Todd was diagnosed with cancer in October of 2012, and the narrative will focus on his hope and influence despite adversity through his battle.

“A clipping from an English paper written by Todd says, ‘All I know is I want to reach the community and the world.’ And of course he did that, through his testimony,” Grass added.

A poem about “the ultimate surrender to God’s will,” according to Grass, will conclude the program, reflecting on Christ’s own surrender to the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane.