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Looking Back at Karitos ‘12

posted Aug 27, 2012, 3:50 PM by Susannah Francis   [ updated Aug 27, 2012, 10:47 PM ]
Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow! 


Much of what happened at the Karitos Worship & Arts Conference this past July can only be shared in generalities because God was doing so much personal work in people's hearts. However, I can tell you that  the weekend was absolutely amazing....the people that we traveled up with had some really powerful moments with Christ and we saw some MAJOR walls fall in their lives and we cannot praising God for what He did that weekend!!!

We took four others with us (two of them leadership in our ministry) up to Chicago for this event and then met six others that traveled separately. Due to the Indy event that we led back in May, there were about 20 some Indy attendees in all. To show even how more amazing our God is, two of the people that joined us for the conference were people we met through our film project research (Zach and I are collaborating with a film producer in Charleston [Karen DeLoach] on a project on the topic of cutting, suicide and the drug culture). The other person is Tracy Lewis, who we met through reading her book "God is Always There" about cutting and her struggles with self-harming. She is now a speaker & author about the topic and has been called to it as her ministry. It was wonderful to finally meet Tracy and her daughter Caitlin in person after our many conversations through phone and email. 

The main worship sessions were absolutely amazing! The worship was beautiful as always and the performances were wonderful. For the first time in 17 years, Karitos had one keynote speaker for all three evenings and it proved to be a very wise decision. Matt Tommey, speaker and author of the powerful book "Unlocking the Heart of the Artist", spoke each night about the lies that the enemy tells us and walked us through how we could break free through by understanding the truth of how God sees us. The first evening ended with Matt asking the entire audience to close our eyes and hear something that the enemy has told us about ourselves. Then he said for us to keep our eyes closed and hear what God says is the truth, what He sees in us.   Matt asked four to five people to come up and share both the lie and the truth that God showed them about that lie.  

The next night, Matt began his message by sharing that several people had revelations following the previous night's conference and he invited a few more people to come onstage and share what God may have told them about the lies they have believing about themselves.  So, a few came and when it got down to only one or two on stage, four more would come...and so it went for over an hour, four or five more arriving.  It started much the same as the night before, "God tells me I am precious in His eyes", "My art is worship to Him" and similar. However, then it took a much deeper level as teens started arriving on stage making the statements of "the enemy told me I am ugly and nobody likes me, but God says I am perfectly and wonderfully made and He loves me" .  You could see the freedom on their faces as they stepped off stage and were met with arms outstretched by one of the ministry leaders.  Here is were something amazing happened. A teen stepped on stage in tears and said something similar to this, "I believed that so many of my friends killed themselves was because I was a bad friend and I deserved to die, but God says that I am actually there to help these friends that are wanting to kill themselves".  Then, it seemed as if teens began flocking to the stage, all with very similar phrases and fears.  Matt prayed over them and declared healing from those lies. Then, one of the most powerful things for me was seeing that very same teen that started the flock, standing in the aisle, praying for those youth that came off stage. It was as if the ministry of praying for suicidal teens was birthed in a moment for that person!  We saw so many chains broken that evening!!!  

The workshops were phenomenal as well. The two of the most helpful tracks to our ministry work were Theatre and Film.  You can see workshop descriptions here). The theatre workshops were especially helpful to myself (Susannah) and Janet Jones, as we found some really amazing resources like prop inventory, sound cue and wardrobe run sheets. I hope to be able to share these online soon if we receive approval from our ministry friend that created them. Zachary and Stanley Jones were able to attend some really great film workshops as well. One that was the highlight of the weekend was entitled "Developing Your Story as a Feature Film" by CJ Powers, a writer, director, producer and a script doctor for film and television (see bio here).   I hope to be able to post notes from these workshops online as well. Be watching for a much more involved Resource Page soon! 

All in all, our weekend was incredible and so many lives were changed forever.  God is constantly stretching and growing us to prepare us for the ministry work He has for us. I always love the Parable of the Talents because it shows how our God moves us into greater and great things as we grow in Him.  

We are prayerfully considering to host another Karitos Indy during May 2013. If you would like to be a part of the planning committee, please contact  We also will be taking a group with us to Karitos '13 in Chicago next July, so feel free to contact us if you want to attend!

Enjoy a fun video from our trip home from Chicago. Abigail Farmen is a very talented visual artist and percussionist and also makes costume suits.

Bonk Goes to Burger King