The second stop on our summer O2 tour was in Missoula, a college town with a population close to 70,000. Called the Garden City, or Zoo Town, Missoula is situated in a river valley and home to a lively downtown scene. We held the event in a killer location at the Valentine Community Center, positioned right off of a main retail area in the city.
This was the first time we’d ever had an O2 event in Missoula. It’s all part of launching into deeper waters, not knowing how things will go but taking the risk anyway. The same questions are always there: How is this going to go? Will anyone show up? Have we done everything we can do? Thoughts like these fill my mind and the minds of our team as we step out in faith to do these events.
Every time, God shows up and blows us away. This stop was no different. The venue filled almost to capacity and the vibe was full of energy and expectation. We began the night with a clear gospel message. O2 is structured this way – with a gospel message first – because a relationship with Him is the foundation for following His plan for our lives, including our sex lives. The Holy Spirit stirred the hearts of dozens who stood boldly to make commitments for Christ.
We then rolled into intermission full of music, local partner organizations and delicious local food vendors – including a ridiculously good mini donut truck. Then came time to talk sex and romance. According to the Missoula City-County Health Department, STDs are ever-increasing in the 15-24 age demographic and a little over 40% of Missoula high school students have had sex. At the end of the night, we saw more than half of those in attendance stand to make commitments to strength and honor.
We give people the opportunity to share their stories with us and it’s powerful to see how lives are impacted and changed by God’s plan for our sex lives. This story came in from a young man who attended our Missoula event:
“I never fully realized what it meant to be a follower of Jesus. Tonight I gave my life to the Lord for the first time and I am so excited to start my walk with God. I have had some struggles with purity in my life. When I was 7 a friend came over and showed me some pornography and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. Tonight I made a commitment to stop and I am really glad I made that decision. I am so stoked on being able to start my purity and walk with Jesus and save myself for my future wife.”
Seeing stories like this spurs me, my wife and our team on. We’re grateful to see lives changed and God bless our efforts. Thank you to everyone who attended our Missoula event or watched online, we’re believing this will have an impact for generations.
Here’s the lookbook for our Missoula stop: