2018-06-15 They'll know we are Christians by our love
ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
This is a letter to our friends –
“THEY’LL KNOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS BY OUR LOVE”
It was early fall, 1974. We had a family business in Morgan Hill, California, two hours south of San Francisco. I was alone in my office when the Lord planted a vision for small-town outreaches in my heart. I was to organize the outreach as a functioning package then turn it over to a YWAM team to plug in and use.
The first step was to pray-in a core group of four YWAMers. God sent two guys and two girls fresh out of Hilo SOE. They moved into our home January, 1975. The Morgan Hill outreach as to be held the week before Easter Sunday.
Each morning after an hour quiet time, and breakfast, the team gathered before the Lord for instructions. Sometimes He said to spend the day in prayer. Other times – pray around the town (population 20K). Sometimes He would split the team between intercession and visits to pastors.
He named the event. “King’s Victory Celebration” (it was Easter week). Eighteen of the nineteen churches in town served as “sponsors” of the event. 218 YWAMers from all over the west checked in at the OAG church on Saturday night a week before Easter. They were sent in two’s and three’s to 85 homes all over Morgan Hill with instructions to spend Sunday with their hosts and arrive at the Southern Baptist church at 9:00 Monday morning. The core group had arranged pick-up routes for the YWAMers without cars.
The Morgan Hill Times newspaper gave KVC front page picture stories four editions in a row. Every one interested put “KVC” placards in their car windows. This produced a city-wide taxi service for YWAMers on foot.
Each morning a different church hosted the YWAM worship and teaching service until lunch. Sack lunches were prepared and delivered by ladies from the churches that were too small to host 218+ people. John Dawson led the YWAM worship and teaching team.
During each afternoon pairs of YWAMers visited every home in Morgan Hill taking a “religious survey”. There were public events every evening. One evening the local feed company put their flatbed truck in the park and a “Jews for Jesus” team held an open air event using a piano the core group borrowed from the Baptists.
The local radio station heard we were having a “Spanish Emphasis Night” and “Glory a Dios!” it is in a Catholic Church. The event was in Spanish with an English interpreter! The program started with a Baptist youth choir singing in Spanish.
Morgan Hill had only one movie theater. It was in the center of town, and was dark on Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday night the marquee was changed to read, “Jesus is Lord! Adore Him with us. Wednesday 7PM.”
The final KVC event was on a beautiful hillside facing east. It was a sunrise service Easter morning.
Later, the Mayor referred to KVC as the most important week in the history of Morgan Hill. The core group had used our sewing machine to make a twenty foot banner that was placed in front of every event (morning and evening), “THEY’LL KNOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS BY OUR LOVE”.
Those who attended the Montreal Olympics Outreach in 1976, or have seen pictures of the girl’s school used for housing the 1000+ YWAMers from many nations, will recall seeing the KVC banner mounted across the entrance.
We are proud to add it to the YWAM historical archives. I hope it will be used again. To God be the glory.
Ben & Fran Gilmore,
Kona SOE 1976
These columns are archived since 12/10/09