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‘Jesus Explosion’ 18 goes virtual

From Gregory Quan Kep, Jesus Explosion Committee Member

COVID-19 has precipitated several restrictions. There is a new normal that has jolted everyone out of their comfort zone.

The ‘Jesus Explosion’ was no exception. It was indeed a challenge to stage an event of this magnitude and keep to the vision and mission of the Jesus Explosion (JE).

Even leading up to the event there was an armed robbery of three parishioners at the St Charles, Tunapuna carpark where the event was to be held. This put a damper and raised concerns of security.

Also, with five days to go, there was an interruption of the internet service which threatened the online advertising. Two days before the event a parishioner suffered a heart attack during Mass and had to be hospitalised. He and Tunapuna parish priest and JE spiritual director Fr Ian Taylor were injured trying to secure a lighting tower.

We were reminded that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but principalities and powers in high places and so we must depend on the Lord.

The uncertainty of the COVID led to the late date, December 12, 2020 instead of the July or September dates. The event was carded to air on Jesus Explosion’s official YouTube account—Jesus Explosion Virtual Conference.

Just the opening Mass and ending with the Blessed Sacrament ministry would be the only segments that will be live. All other parts including talks, praise and worship, testimonies were pre-taped and would run according to a set programme on the day.

This took tremendous coordination and there were many times it had to be redone. Perseverance was a watchword we became familiar with. Hats off to the new coordinator Ayanna Griffith, ably supported by the assistant coordinator Leslie Gouveia.

Who are you Lord?…I am Jesus, was the theme taken from Acts 9:5. A fitting scripture as many seem to be losing faith in the face of an overwhelming pandemic.

The speakers were Fr Taylor, Fr Anthony Abraham (US Virgin Islands) on ‘Baptism in the Holy Spirit’, Fr Trevor Nathasingh on ‘The Eucharist’, and Fr Cornelius Phillip on ‘Repentance’. The Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu gave the opening address.

The music ministries were GRACE and the St Charles Youth Choir. There were also powerful testimonies of encounter, healing and transformation and provision.

There were many adjustments and scaling down of the event. However, with the event being online, the potential to go into the whole world was greater. More nations outside of Trinidad and Tobago were able to see the event. It is also stored on our YouTube page which can be viewed by many more in the future.

The live viewership on the YouTube page fluctuated, averaging between 286 and 306 people during the day. The number of times the page was viewed was 4,659, when this article was submitted.

We give God thanks and praises for overcoming adversity in His name, and for the new direction of the Spirit that has allowed us to go into the whole world with the Good News.