The Happening XX is Nov. 11
By Kim Swindell Wood | November 2, 2017 9:24 am
How did we get here? So glad you asked!
In January of 1999, a nurse, Ms. Kathy, was administering chemotherapy to her patient and beloved White Co. High School guidance counselor, Sandra Sparkman. As God would have it, Kathy planted the idea for The Happening in Sandra’s heart and mind. With a little planning and a few faithful “armor bearers,” the first Happening event took place a few months later, in April, at the YMCA. The Y was beyond a capacity crowd and filled with high school teens eager to have BIG FUN and learn more about God. After the first year, permission was granted to “happen” at the White Co. High School facility, and as they say…the rest is history…a God story of what He can do in a small town, through a small town girl who had been diagnosed with cancer.
How did we get to The Happening XX in only XIX years? Glad you asked!
That’s a testimony on its own of God’s plan and provision for this ministry. The first few events “happened” in the spring and were all night lock-ins, starting at 10:00 p.m. and ending at 6:00 a.m. Because of the fear that someone might fall asleep while driving home and have an accident, (and they did), plus the fact that many of the “armor bearers” were too tired to clean up at six in the morning…the time had come to change the time! Also, since the event was having such a positive impact on those who attended, the high school administration had asked if the date could be changed to the fall to set the tone for the school year. So, that meant that the faithful, financial supporters would be asked to give twice in one year…God provided! The Happening has continued to take place on the first or second Saturday in November since 2001 and the time was changed from all night to 3:00 in the afternoon until 11:00 at night in 2003. The Happening XX in the XIX year is set to take place on November 11, and it will be a “Homecoming Celebration.” There will be “Happening Alumni” speaking and leading during the praise and worship time. What a sweet testimony for this ministry!
How does The Happening continue to happen? Glad you asked!
Only by God’s grace and providence! Only God can use something as bad as cancer and turn it into something as good as The Happening. Only God can provide, protect, and bring a small community of believers together to glorify Him through a unique event. The Happening is not about one person, one denomination, one diagnosis, or one idea, but about one God who gave His one and only Son to be the Savior of the world…our world…Sparta, TN. That’s the message; The Happening is the means. From day one, the ministry’s three main goals were to bring young people to Christ, to build Christian fellowship among the high school students, and to have BIG FUN! Over the years, God has provided the “armor bearers” to give financially, to pray faithfully, to set up and clean up, prepare food, fix hair, paint nails, referee ball games, coordinate video games, paint canvas and Christmas ornaments, design jewelry, make candles, secure the building, check-in and check-out…you get the picture! They show up and show God’s love to over 500 teens! The “armor bearers” are happy and blessed to be a part of something that was God ordained for our community and county.
This is how it “happens!”
This is the story of The Happening…God’s story. He keeps writing new chapters each year and adding names to His Book of Life. Allow God to use your story for His glory. After all, He is how we “happened” to be here!