It is Monday afternoon as I write. We have a little downtime right now while we wait for supper, so let me bring you up to speed on our trip so far...
The trip up here went very smoothly. We arrived right on schedule, ate supper, and started getting ready for bed. That's when the tornado sirens started going off. Long story short, the radio said there was a large tornado on the ground heading pretty much straight for us. We put all the kids in interior bathrooms and piled pillows and couch cushions on top of them. By the time the storms had blown over, we were aware from the reports that there was damage around us, but we did not know how close. The next morning, we found out. As we were driving to church we we saw a totally decimated house with a flipped over car lying on top of it. This was about five miles from where we were staying. We know God protected us, and we know this was largely because of the prayers of people back at Selmore. So, thank you! (There were some spooky clouds Sunday afternoon too! See above pic.)
Sunday we split into three groups and worshiped with three different churches. The church I worshiped with was the Watseka Baptist Church, and they meet in the conference room of the Super 8 motel in Watseka, IL. (We are putting on a VBS for this church this week.) Sunday morning, they had six people in attendance. Two years ago their church building suffered severe flood damage, and they do not have the funds to refurbish it. So ever since, they have been meeting at various places including the motel, and their numbers have dwindled. This little congregation is understandably discouraged but, to their credit, they haven't given up. Pray that we can be an encouragement to them this week.
Today (Monday) we sent a team to Manteno, IL where they are helping the First Baptist Church there with an addition to their building. And the rest of us returned to Watseka where we intended to have our first day of VBS in a city park. Unfortunately, no kids showed up! Those of us who have been on mission trips before know this is not uncommon for the first day, and so we spent the morning making fliers with markers and stuffing coffee mugs with candy (the church had been given over 1,000 coffeee mugs by someone), and spent the afternoon walking the streets of Watseka, handing out free coffee mugs and inviting people to worship with the First Baptist Church, and inviting kids to tomorrow's VBS!
Here's how you can pray for us tonight...
1) Pray for children to attend tomorrow's VBS.
2) Pray that our presence will encourage the Watseka Baptist Church.
3) Pray that God will bring some families to Watseka Baptist Church, as a result of VBS.
4) Pray for the construction crew at Manteno that their work will be productive and safe.
5) Pray for good weather tomorrow for both groups. (Rain is in the forecast.)
Finally, I have to say, it makes a pastor very proud to see his people on mission. And I know you would be proud if you could see them in action too. God has given our church some very talented people who truly have a heart for Him. Selmore is very blessed!