Exodus: Preserving History and Continuing the Adventure
By McKrae Game
I remember going to my first Exodus conference in 1998. My wife and I were scared to death! It was a regional in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Clay McLean was the main speaker. I met many new people, but the only one who really sticks out in my memory is Larry Bell. The Lord put Larry in my life in an incredibly vulnerable time—I’d recently had a fall with a man, and my wife didn’t know, yet. It was also at this conference where the Lord spoke to me about ex-gay ministry. Clay said, “So many people come out of homosexuality through an experience with God, but tell no one. Many are then left to walk alone on this journey.” In that moment, I heard clear-as-a-bell in my mind, “This is what I’ve called you to.” It scared me, yet…the Lord reminded me: He’d been preparing me for a long time.
My experience with Exodus was truly special. I had found family. I discovered a group of men and women who understood where I was coming from and how I felt—my attractions, my inclinations, my failures, my hopes, and now my calling. The worship was incredible! God’s Spirit was thick in the air! The experience was so POWERFUL and intense, it was life-changing!
When I heard about the Exodus national conference, there wasn’t even a question of whether my wife and I would attend. When we found out it was in Seattle, Washington, where we would have to face the high cost of traveling to the other side of the country, it wasn’t a matter of seeing obstacles, but looking for solutions. I asked my church and my mom for help, and seventeen years later they both, still, financially support this journey.
From that day forward, and for the next fifteen years, I never missed an Exodus conference.
Shortly after the conference in Seattle, I mailed my application to start an Exodus Affiliate Ministry. I’d heard clearly from the Lord that I was supposed to follow Him in this area. “Truth Ministry,” I heard. In order to start an Exodus ministry, though, their Standards had to be met: one year in ministry and two years from a fall with another person. I had work to do! After meeting the Standards and becoming an Exodus leader, I immersed myself in every area I could. Over the years, I coordinated the volunteers and taught workshops at the national conferences. It was from these workshops that my message of The Transparent Life took root.
The Lord gave me the gift of leadership, and I used it.
Alan Medinger was my Exodus Regional Representative, and he did a great job mentoring me as a leader. Eventually, he asked me to take his place as the Exodus Regional Rep for the Mid-Atlantic Coast. One day, after accepting the position, I called Alan [Medinger] because I was feeling SO overwhelmed. I asked him, “How did you manage your ministry and find the time to mentor all the leaders across the region?” He replied, “Well, what you don’t know is…you were the only one I was calling and mentoring. I saw numerous gifts in you that I believe can carry on the work of Exodus.” I was struck at that moment by his words, and I still am today. This man I admired so much personally mentored me into a position I would one day take on, though I didn’t know it at the time.
Today, Hope for Wholeness not only carries on the ministry and message of Exodus, but also the spirit of community with its leaders and participants. This culminates in a powerful personal experience at our conferences where Jesus is The Focus and lives ARE changed. (See last month’s article on change.)
Speaking of change, Hope for Wholeness is now the caretaker of Exodus’ history.
Last fall, Alan Chambers (former Exodus President), contacted me to see if I’d be interested in taking over the memorabilia and archives of Exodus. I quickly said, “Yes.” He told me, “It’s a lot.”
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I immediately informed our Advisory Council and Governing Board, and we’ve kept this confidential until now. We believe it’s important to preserve this life-changing history. No funds were exchanged, no agreements of ideology were entered, and no “quid pro quo” occurred. The only expectations regarding the Exodus Archives were for them to be cared for, respected, and preserved intact. Our plan is to share the Archives in ways that will glorify the Lord.
How to transfer the Archives from Florida to South Carolina was now the question to be answered. Originally, a trip was planned for December 2014, but it had to be postponed and was rescheduled for the summer of 2015, right before school started.
Seth wanted to hit every beach we passed on the way down, so we did. I love my boy, and my boy loves the beach! This was an important mission and I wanted Seth to share it with me. We had a great time taking lots of pictures and posting them on Facebook along the way, but did not disclose the real reason for the mission.
It was a quick trip down and back. We left at 4 a.m. on Sunday, August 16, with Seth driving my mom’s Yukon (I tend to fall asleep behind the wheel). We met Alan the next morning at the storage unit in Orlando, hugged and got right to work. We filled every crack to the ceiling in the vehicle, leaving just enough space for our two small suitcases among dozens of boxes. The Yukon was loaded down to the point that the suspension had to significantly adjust. You could definitely feel the weight of history while driving.
After two (plus) hours of packing, Seth and I had a nice lunch with Lynda Stein (former Exodus Conference Production Manager). We caught up on what we’ve been doing since Exodus closed in June 2013. From there, I spent three hours at urgent care (I was terribly sick and needed an antibiotic), while Seth drove around sightseeing. Afterwards, Seth picked me up, and we joined four friends who treated us as their guests to Disney. Although I needed to rest, I decided to press through and have fun with my boy and friends. And we did! We stayed out late and had a lot of fun riding Space Mountain and several other rides. My family had never been to Disney, and I hadn’t seen the Magic Kingdom since I was ten. This was a real treat!
On Tuesday morning, we headed home with our precious cargo—Seth driving and me resting. The next day, Nylene, Jacob, and I unloaded the Archives to our second floor office. Did I mention it was summer and HOT? Later that day, Seth and I went to Costco and bought shelving for the Archives now entrusted to us.
Some may not understand this venture. It was, and will be, a costly project in time, energy, and resources. Those who were involved with Exodus will understand its value. Those who participated in Exodus will understand the treasure we shared in fellowship, and now have received its recorded inheritance. The Archives demonstrate God’s Divine Hand in thousands of people’s lives, including mine, and so many across the world.
The next step in this journey is to create a special membership website for accessing recordings. Hope for Wholeness already has a large inventory of resources, and in the future, we will gladly offer all of Exodus’ audio and video conference teachings, as well. ALL THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS.
There are tons of resources to be inventoried, catalogued, scanned, converted, and uploaded so others can benefit from the 38-years of transformational history. It’s going to cost a whole lot more than the gas to go down and get it—a whole lot more in time, energy, and finances.
Though a dauntingly large task, it’s an even larger honor to glorify God as we continue this adventure.
Will you join us?
If you’re ready and willing to help others benefit from the history and heritage of Exodus, please PRAY for all involved. We definitely need the Lord’s Guidance on a daily basis, and especially as we embark on this new adventure! To donate financially, designate your contribution under our new option titled Preserving Exodus History.