Christy Gafford, the director of our furnace in Corsicana, Texas, provided the following account of hosting a 77-hour Burn July 4-7 of this year.
This is where it all begins. The excitement, all the planning and preparation. This is the moment we have been waiting for. What do you want Lord? He just simply says “I want intimacy.” So we just began by meeting Him there and taking communion. It was a little awkward - especially for those of us that were ready to blast off into non-stop worship. It’s hard to be still in that moment. It’s hard to set my mind on things above. But I say, “Yes Lord! Whatever it looks like, whatever it sounds like, whatever it takes. I just have to have you.” What a beautiful moment.
Briefing with the team after our first set (which included every worshipper I could get on the stage to kickoff the 77). Catfish who is the President of the Biker club and a Pastor who came to help with security starts preaching then we all start praying and he gets healed of back pain jumps over the picnic table.... truth...lots of crying and more praying. That was probably one of the longest debriefs I have ever done. God you blow my mind! It’s only hour 3.
Day 2: 3-5am set: “the glory hour” Shellie and Liam is all I have to say..... Wow. I was laying on the “Holy Rug” trying to rest because all of my leadership team is at home sleeping and I’m on nightwatch. While sleeping at home , my husband wakes up during that glory hour and the whole ceiling in our room is an orange glow. It’s the glory. I’m “sloaking” at the Burn and Shellie and Liam are pressing into the calling of all the prodigals to return to the Father.
Hour 15ish/77: I have literally only slept about 30 minutes at this point because I promised my precious friend Katy for the 2nd hour of her set when her fingers are numb from playing guitar that I would back her up and play keys and of course worship with her. Thank you Lord - I do still have a voice. #nightwatch. So many people to pray for and to minister to. Debriefing at this point has been delegated and I’m just overseeing and watching all the beautiful moments being created. He is so amazing, and I just feel the beat of His heart with mine.
Hour 24/77: it’s only been 24 hours it feels like days, and it’s so hot. God, why did you ask me to do a 77 hour Burn and not let me do it with air conditioning in TEXAS? We are literally “burning.”
Hour #27ish: Now we have an all-guys impromptu band up there. Rex is singing on a microphone (he never sings), and my husband Chris is jamming on his bass that he just started learning a month ago, and Dave is rapping ,and Hunter is on guitar. God you blow my mind. I never in a million years thought I would see it this way. Off to the nightwatch.
Hour #36ish/77: I come back from a short couple of hours of sleep and a storm has blown in. This is exactly what the Lord had shown me when He gave the scripture in Psalm 77 and spoke about the whirlwind. I’m driving my car into the venue and quite literally there is rain that is in a whirlwind and there is a flood of water coming into the space. Everyone is grabbing the equipment and shutting the bay doors down. Dave, Hannah (who is 11) and I take some time to just feel after the Lord and we began to sing “where You go I will go I will follow You” in the middle of the room. What a sweet moment in time. Maybe it will be a little cooler now. Thank you, God, for Your very physical manifestations of Your Word - Psalm 77.
Hour #38/77: Now I get a chance to just be with You. There’s still some rain and I just want to be in the secret place with you. The church team that is worshipping through gospel and soul music has invited the guy who works at the diner at the front part the venue to come and sing his requested song. God you amaze me. So much deep healing and ministry is happening all at the same time.
Hour #48/77. I’m struggling a bit because I am sensing that tomorrow is going to be an intense day. I alert the team and begin to reassess where we all are. Stop and take a moment to get together with the leadership team, pray together, and then back at it.
Hour #52/77: The Burn extension crew and the outreach teams have arrived to be sent out into the city. We spend time praying over them before they head out. Then when they return we spend all night praising and worshipping and crying...
Hour #60/77: I have been up all night doing the nightwatch worshiping my heart out, but I’m so tired. Hunter, who signed up for 22 hours of leading worship, is not here to relieve me. It's 7:00 am and the sun is up. My husband brings me a doughnut, and I just settle in to worship. There’s only a couple of people here. I ask the Lord to feel His heartbeat in the midst of everything else I am feeling. I began to sing “Awaken up our hearts O God to hear the heartbeat of heaven. Arise O worshippers arise.” My heart is stirred over the city who sleeps, and I just begin to press into this place. Suddenly in the midst of this, I begin to weep and cry. I feel the movement of My heart is stirred over the city who sleeps, and I just begin to press into this place. Suddenly in the midst of this I begin to weep and cry and feel the movement of Your spirit on me. Each person there is having a beautiful moment with their King. We just want You, Jesus. When I thought I was done, You sustained me. You released Your heart and Your spirit on me. Thank You.
Hours 61-75/77:The rest of the day the increased intensity was truly experiencing Him everywhere I walked, moved, breathed. There really are no words. Hour 76/77: We are all going to end the way we began - together, declaring His love and offering to Him that we will keep burning for Him. You are so good Jesus. Hour 77-79: Cleanup time. Some women came in off the streets, and we have been praying for healing. Our team gathers one last time to say goodbye to each other not really having much to say except “I love you” and “rest in the awe and wonder of our God.”