“As we take a moment to reflect on the traumas, the tragedy and trials of 2020 with the ripple effects of a global pandemic affecting almost everything we do, my heart breaks as we remember those we have lost. Yet, we remain thankful for those who are still standing.”- Paul Adefarasin, Convener of The Experience and Senior Pastor, House on The Rock Church.
The Experience ’15 Global may be arriving just a few months after the pandemic was at its peak but it is still a beacon of hope for all attending from its birth place – Nigeria.
Many are still recuperating from the setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which forced us to change our lifestyle, habits, beliefs, etc. as the major goal became to survive. It had us rethinking and reconsidering the things that mattered more in life as love ones, jobs, relationships, dreams, hopes and goals were lost. Visionboards, to-do lists, proposals, agendas, events were either nullified or rearranged to embrace the new normal associated with the pandemic.
For Nigerians and so many people around the world, the month of March seemed like a fictional bedtime story told to scare little toddlers. Even the first public announcement of the lockdown in April looked like a child’s play until it became a stable enforcement that kept many restrained to their indoors; short on food and money, lonely and mentally challenged for months. The increase in the number of deaths from hundreds to thousands within months instilled fear and anxiety in the hearts of many. As at today, there are many who still seek that beacon of hope to help them scale through whatever degree of loss they experienced during those dreadful months. There are still many who are permanently scarred but choose to stay alive and grateful for making it through.
Research reveals that good music helps elevate one’s mood, relieves stress, anxiety and overall mental wellness. It is often used as a form of therapy by psychologists for some of their patients. What better avenue to be exposed to even better music than the world’s largest gospel concert, The Experience? This year’s event had attendants in an exhilarating atmosphere of magnificent gratitude to God Almighty as we reflected on how we have survived the highs and lows encountered in the beginning of this decade. “The Experience is not just for Christians, it is for everyone in the world. The great thing about this year – it is virtual so you can watch it right where you are, in the comfort of your home having a great time in the presence of God,” announced Ifeanyi Adefarasin, co-convener of The Experience and co-pastor at House On The Rock Church. Thus, making the gospel concert easily accessible to every person regardless of their location, race, religion, tongues, status or financial capability (plus it is free of charge!).
Held Friday night 11th of December, The Experience 2020 saw a community of millions of individuals connecting with music as a means to heal their hearts and restore their lost hope and faith following the music, testimonies and goodwill messages shared.
Ministering for the first time at The Experience were gospel singers Sidney Mohede from Indonesia, Maverick City and Tasha Leonard-Cobbs from The United States of America, The Cape Town Philharmonic Choir from South Africa, Sheldon Bangera from India, Matt Redman from the United Kingdom and Hillsong United from Australia. Making a reappearance at the concert were top gospel artists from our home country; Ada, Nathaniel Bassey, Tope Alabi, Onos, Eno Michael,Sinach, Mercy Chinwo, Segub Obe, Eben, Chee etc. and from abroad: Travis Greene, Chevelle Franklyn, Don Moen, Donnie McClurkin, The Planetshakers, William McDowell including Israel Houghton who made a guest appearance in a global collaboration rendition of “The Blessing”, a song that according to the thousands of messages shared, truly blessed everyone at the concert.
The Experience 2020 offered what may be ‘The One Therapy’ needed by that person who has lost hope and faith in the goodness of life. “The world we inhabit today requires, perhaps more than ever, an admixture of courage, hope, faith, and love. We all need to believe again, to fully live again. We are confident that our future holds better and brighter days than those served up by 2020, and that the setbacks of this year are simply setups for the more glorious years that lie ahead” said Paul Adefarasin, convener of The Experience and senior pastor of House on The Rock Church. “This year, let’s make The Experience episode 15 truly an experience to remember” he encouraged.
Vanguard News Nigeria