On Sunday, we visited the church that Justin got saved in. Just over 17 years ago (this month), Justin asked Jesus to save him from his sins. Going back to the PLACE where he called on Christ was very awesome, but the awesomeness didn’t end there. While we were there, we met some of the people who are still attending after 17 YEARS! Talk about being faithful to your church. Justin was able to talk with his old Sunday School teacher, Mrs Blackman. She and her husband actually gave Justin a gift to help fund his first missions trip to Ireland. This trip, if you’ve heard our presentation then you know this, is what God used to lead Justin to the missions field. What a blessing to be able to see people who affected our lives for the LORD still serving God in their church! We serve a Great God, and its our privilege to go forward, arm in arm, with great saints like these!
Being shy, introverted, and not at all a “people person”, i was really dreading deputation. Meeting and talking to new people, being in unfamiliar churches, getting up in front of people to do music or speak… not my ideal day.
But to my surprise, after almost two years of “part time” deputation, i’ve actually enjoyed it! I’ve always loved the packing and planning that goes along with a trip. I enjoy spending time in the car with my husband. I’m so thankful to say we’ve experienced none of the missionary “horror stories”. We’ve always had nice places to stay, and have been VERY well fed. We’ve sung and played our songs so many times, i don’t really need the music anymore (i still use it, just so i have something to look at 🙂 ). Everyone is so welcoming and friendly. Conversations aren’t so difficult after all :). We have also enjoyed seeing local attractions and landmarks as we travel.
As for Adrienne, she is a little social butterfly and loves meeting new people. Twice recently, she’s walked up to children at a new church with a big smile, a “Hi!” and arms open wide for a hug. She’s great in the car, and a good sleeper – even in new places. She’s not very good at being quiet in church, but we can work on that. 🙂 As soon as there’s a pause or a quiet moment, she fills it with with her little words… usually “what’s that?” or “oooooh!”
Overall, we’re thankful for the good experiences we’ve had, and all the wonderful churches we have been able to visit and minister to. Looking forward to see what in the next few months of deputation.
This past Sunday, we were able to visit a church about an hour and a half from our home church. This meeting proved to be a little more special for us!
First, while I was setting up our display, I noticed a couple of the kids that rode into church in the church van were sitting and watching us. Then I recognized Mikel, he was a bus kid on the route that I used to work on in our home church. I said “hi” to him and to Jaques, his brother. It was a great way to start a meeting! It seems like the LORD has put several of my old bus kids back in our path over the last month! I can’t tell you how great it is to know that some kids that we invested time and care into, are in a great church that will love them and take care of them!
Second, the church was a blessing! The people were all friendly and curious towards us. We felt welcome for sure!
Last, (can you tell I preach? Maybe I should have alliterated my post!) the Pastor and his family were great! Lunch with Pastor and his kids was fun and tasty! Eating very spicy fajitas with a brother in the LORD will draw you close together. There is fellowship in suffering. 🙂 I was able to share my heart with him, and he with me. It’s such a blessing when you can make a FRIEND on the road. He said some very nice things about us in front of his church, and we were humbled to have been a blessing on Sunday. It’s so good to be used of God, and to also be ministered to. But then again, isn’t that the whole point of going to church and fellowshipping with other believers?
Do you ever have “One of those days”?
This past Sunday, we did. Kayleigh and I were in Toronto, Canada, at a meeting, and we were staying with the Pastor and his wife. In the morning, we were trying to “help” get breakfast ready. To help out, Kayleigh said that she could fry the bacon. The pastor’s wife said “Sure, that would be great!”, and we were more than happy to help out. Well, about 5 min later, the whole downstairs of the house was filled with smoke! We had to turn off the A/C and open up the windows! My wife cooks great bacon all the time, but it was just “one of those days”. We were so embarrassed! We were trying to be a blessing, but it went awry. The pastor’s wife came over and just said, “Why don’t you two just set the table?”, and she finished up cooking.
When it came time to leave, I got verbal directions to the church from the pastor, and he left to pick up some church members. I thought, “I don’t need the GPS, its only two turns.” Well, because we were in a new place, and because I was trying to pay attention to streets, I missed a stop sign. I noticed it right as we were about to enter the intersection! Luckily it was a side street with no traffic, and I did actually stop before we went through, but I was embarrassed! Twice now, we had made novice errors on a Sunday before church, no less!
It was a good reminder that we are still only human, and still just sinners saved by grace! I guess everyone has “One of those days” now and then. 🙂
Thank you to all who pray for us as we travel, who knows what would happen if you ever stopped!
Kayleigh and I have been able to visit some great churches who are blessed to have great pastors!
A little more than a month ago, we visited Bradford Baptist Church. Pastor Mills is doing a great job! We were impressed with how he worked with his people! He took us out to lunch and brought one of the men that he’s been working with for a while. It was great to break down that formality that seems to go along with a special guest in your church. Most of the time when you host, you typically want to put your best foot forward, so we dress things up and everything is in its perfect place. I think Pastor Mills put Bradford Baptist’s best foot forward by working with his people, and even taking time in between services to help more of his members after lunch with us! That is a great example to us; never forget that PEOPLE are the ministry.
Last week we visited Sempronius Baptist Church, with Pastor Grimes. Again, I was happy to see a man who loves the people that he has. He pulled me aside during the lunch time in between services, and he told me about some of his people who were there that day. He explained some of their history, where they are at now, and expressed how much he appreciated their faithfulness and love for their church, and the LORD. I am happy to see a close knit church like that. Pastors should love their flock. I believe that is in part why God requires pastors to have their family in order. A good father will be very similar to a good Pastor, and you can tell that Pastor Grimes loves his people as if they were his family.
Thank you pastors, for opening up and letting us see that! It was a great encouragement to Kayleigh and me. We are blessed to have visited and meet the people in those churches!
A few sundays ago, we were invited to visit this girls sunday school class, ages 9-12, at Old Time Baptist Church in Hamburg, NY. We were told that they had taken an offering up for us and wanted to present it. The class was able to raise over $600 over this past year! Kayleigh and I were floored! We appreciated the gift so much. Its so awesome to see these girls learning that if they give to the LORD, He will use what they give for His glory. What an awesome lesson they have learned. While we were there, we were also quite impressed with the questions that they brought about PNG. I was stunned. I answered GOOD questions from them for about 35 minutes. I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t just, “what food do they eat?” or “what do they look like?” but a lot of penetrating questions about the culture and way of life. I’ve had question time struggle to be 15 minutes long at churches before. What a way to teach them to have a heart for lost people, and for our LORD. It was an honor to be able to speak to them and visit. They were a huge blessing to Kayleigh and me, Thank you so much for caring about us, where we are going to minister, and our King!
Proverbs 25:25 says, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”
This is all i could think about as I was able to sit down with Aaron Antonio, a missionary to Cambodia, and talk about some of the people I had met a few years ago. In 2011, I went on a missions trip to visit Aaron, and his parents. I was able to meet people my age, and get to know them in the 3 weeks we were there. This past week, Aaron brought great news about how some of those people are now married and have kids, just like Kayleigh and me. A lot of them are also still in church! It was great to hear that so many of them are still faithful to God, and are now raising families in a pagan country! What a blessing to hear about that!
Sunday night we dropped in on Hedstrom Baptist Church for a visit. When we arrived, we noticed that things didn’t seem quite set up for a church service, and there were a lot of kids around…. We had picked the first night of their Vacation Bible School to drop in!
As this was only a few days after our church’s VBS, we were happy to jump right in and help. They swiftly put us to work in the craft area making “worker bees.” Justin was able to find some bee facts, and think up a little lesson to share with the kids as they worked on their craft: worker bees do what they are supposed to without being told, and that’s how we should be too!
We enjoyed getting to meet the church members and kids in a less formal setting, and we look forward to going back sometime to see what a “real” church service is like. 🙂