Vicki Lieuwen caught up with an old acquaintance.
She listened to Bret Merkle tell the story of the horrific motorcycle accident in 1986 that left him disabled and almost paralyzed. His presentation ended with, "It's a miracle I can walk. It's a miracle I have kids. But the greater miracle is I have a changed heart."
As the crowd filed out of the big yellow tent where he spoke, Lieuwen joined the line waiting to have a word with Merkle or to get his autograph. After she hugged him, she said, "I was his ICU nurse."
The thumping beat of music from two stages acres apart met at the yellow tent, wrapping Lieuwen in a cacophony of Christian rock. A happy throng already into the thousands shuffled about her under the dazzling Saturday sun, and she had just renewed ties with her old patient.
"It's fabulous. The feeling of the spirit is overwhelming here," she says. "This is like what heaven is going to be like."
For her, LifeLight hit the right note.
It harmonized with the experience of many at the 11th annual nondenominational Christian music festival that drew an estimated 320,000 to fields adjacent to Wild Water West last year and seemed well on the way to matching it this year. "Awesome" was a common characterization, as in "she said that it was awesome, and it has been so far."