They hit 41 stops in just over two months, living the entire time on one of 80 tour buses crisscrossing the United States. Narrow bunk beds stacked 3-high served as their home while traveling to a new city each morning where an average of 15,000 fans awaited.
This was life for the I am Second team traveling with the Vans Warped Tour this summer, alternative rock’s premiere festival. After many life-changing conversations with fans on part of the tour in 2014, I am Second was there again, showing them the love of Christ.
“There were 19 of us on the bus. We lived there together the entire time,” recalls Joe Hamm, Promotions Coordinator for e3 Partners.
I am Second spent the summer interacting with fellow sponsors and travel mates while striking up meaningful conversations with thousands of fans at each stop. Concertgoers took advantage of the solar-powered cell phone chargers in the I am Second tent while relaxing in the lounge. This gave the team countless opportunities to discuss what it means to live second and follow Jesus.
For many fans, the Vans Warped Tour is the event they wait for every year. They save their money, count down the days, and line up early to get in. The music at the festival attracts many people who are deeply suffering, often from abuse, neglect, and rejection. They are searching for a place to belong, finding solace and community in their shared love for music.
Jeff was one such fan. While at a stop in California, the I am Second team encountered Jeff as he was browsing sponsor booths with his daughter. Joe spent an hour listening to his story, one that includes childhood abuse, betrayal, and a gut-wrenching divorce. As he broke down in tears, Joe and the others introduced him to his Lord and Savior, the one who makes all things new. Jeff left with an I am Second New Testament and the team remains in contact with him today.
They also reconnected with Rachel, a teenage girl whom Joe had the chance to encourage last year. Rachel was still recovering from the sexual abuse she experienced at a younger age when she found the I am Second booth last summer. After she randomly broke into tears under the weight of her pain, Joe had the chance to pray with her.
Rachel came back to the Vans Warped Tour just to see the I am Second booth again and visit with the team. Since her initial encounter with Joe, Rachel has received Christ and now attends a local church.
“It was amazing just to see the transformation in her life over the last year, to go from this sense of defeat to joy,” remarked Joe. “Now, a senior in high school, she’s talking about college and this great future ahead of her!”
The 41 stops with the Van’s Warped Tour provided many opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ and help others understand him better. I am Second enjoyed thousands of conversations every day with people coming from all walks of life. Hundreds signed up at each stop to receive more information, download the app, and interact with the films. Countless seeds were planted as fans encountered the heart of God, often for the first time. It’s just one of the many ways we’re bringing Jesus into unexpected places.
Visit www.iamsecond.com to learn more about the movement or download the app to your iOS or Android device to engage in the conversation.