What would you do if you found out there were Christians bringing the gospel to your local convention?
How would you react if there was a panel talking about anime, video games, and God?
What would you say if someone came up to you, asking if you needed prayer for anything or if you’re sick in your body and need a miracle, and God showed up right then and there?
My intro slide from my 2014 presentation. The following images are all from my 2015 presentation.
Well, that’s exactly what happened June 27th, 2015 at SuperCon at the Miami Beach Convention Center. I was given the opportunity (after filling out a free application) to present in room C223 to my audience on the topic of Finding God in Video Games and Anime. It was a great experience where I learned lot, got to meet a few people, and just saw God show up in a place that truly needs His love.
So, how did this all happen? Well, last year I had the “God idea” to do a panel at a convention after going to a local one here in Miami, FL. I noticed that there were no panels on God or exhibits with a biblical worldview, so I wondered how panelists even got permission to do them. After going on SuperCon’s website (the largest South Florida convention) I found out that it’s not only free, but also as simple as submitting an application via e-mail. I did all that, and eventually got the OK to host a panel of my own! I was a little shocked that they allowed a panel on spirituality/Christianity without any backlash.
Invading Geek Culture
So, completing that one and having over 50+ people show up, listen, and even ask great questions, I decided to do another one on June 27th, 2015. I completed the same application, sent it in, got approved and started working on my presentation. It took me hours to get it the way I wanted, and even then I missed some things.
My wife and I arrived at the con and enjoyed the various exhibits and a few panels until 8:30pm when I hosted mine. I got to listen to Vic Mignogna who is also a Christian, and he spoke a little bit to a very large group of attendees about being grateful, though I was hoping he would talk a little more on his testimony as a believer.
We discovered that my panel was not listed on the SuperCon calendar of events magazine, so it was near impossible for anyone to know when, where, or what my presentation was about. Upon arrival to my room C223, the volunteers helped me set up my laptop on stage and made sure everything was working properly. Completely nervous and sweating a little, I looked around and saw only about 7 or 8 people actually present in the large room, so that helped me relax a bit.
As I began presenting, there was an older couple up front that made comments about some detail or explanation I gave that was incorrect. I shrugged it off and kept going. Being a teacher I’m used to off comments in a public speaking setting. Several times throughout different slides, I gave parallels of anime characters or games to Christ or the bible and how we need the forgiveness of our sins that Jesus Christ has already paid for. People seemed to agree or nod, which was great because I imagined hecklers would start to complain.
Hungry For More
The panel was complete at 9:30pm and my time was about up. I finished with a quick raffle by writing down a number from 1-10 on a piece of paper and asked the audience to choose a number (which had now grown to about 30 because of the upcoming panel after mine). It went well, and I gave away some items from Loot Crate. I got a round of applause, got off stage, and debriefed with my wife and a close friend who also came to see the panel. She had asked a girl in the back if she needed prayer, to which the girl replied she was a Christian and that it was fine. After praying, the girl said she felt the Holy Spirit change the atmosphere in the room and God’s presence entered. My friend also prayed for a guy outside the panel who was looking for work, which was a blessing.
The same friend that came with me told me later on that a group from the church I used to go to was there that same day evangelizing and also praying for people. I will have to find out how it went with them, and hopefully we can collaborate in the future to see a greater impact.
Overall, my heart truly went out to the geek community, this year even more than last year. I believe the reasoning for this is that I was not involved with Geeks Under Grace nor Beneath The Tangles last year, and had just started up my blog. I hadn’t met so many people in the Christian geek community, so I went in with my own perspective, not knowing the stories or passion that so many others have for this same outreach.
Seeing so many people who need the love of God put a fire in me to do more, and I will the next time I am given the opportunity. I saw people smoking marijuana and even asking for signatures to legalize it in Florida, and young girls scantily dressed while other young people cursed throughout the Con. My prayer is that God would use you, me, and anyone else that has a passion to reach geeks in conventions, or wherever they are, for Christ. Show them the love of God, don’t be afraid to be bold and pray that God would encounter them and know that whatever it is they are going through, Jesus Christ is the answer.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Michael is a child of God, husband, teacher, business owner, anime lover and a life long gamer. When not conquering distant world's via console, he can be found reading, watching anime or Netflix, writing, or just enjoying life as a geek in the city of Miami. He aspires to travel to Japan and possibly...never leave.
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