A few minutes ago, we had our last group worship service of the mission trip. Evening worship is a special time on these trips, as we sing together, take time to share the stories and blessings of the day, and hear a devotion from the Word. Tonight, the pastor from the little Watseka Baptist Church, his wife, and two other ladies came to worship with us at our host church. In perhaps the most gratifying moment of the trip for me, Watseka's pastor shared tonight, "I was ready to give up until you all came this week. You have encouraged me to keep going." Praise God! That's what it's all about!
This week, we ended up passing out almost 2,000 church invitations in the city of Watseka. I estimate this to be 80%-90% of the homes in town. We also had a total of 8-9 kids who came to at least one day of VBS. We were able to share the Gospel with each child, and only God knows what will come from these planted seeds. Some fruit that is already bearing forth, is that one of the ladies whose son came to VBS asked the Watseka pastor if he would come to their home and share the Gospel with her husband. Again, praise God!
I haven't said a lot on here about our construction team, since I am not with them during the day, but they have done a very important work as well. They worked VERY hard this week on helping a church in Manteno, IL get a roof on their new children's addition. This is a church that is reaching kids like crazy, and this building will be a great tool for them in doing this even better. This form of work, too, is an important investment in the Kingdom.
Yesterday afternoon/evening, we took the team into downtown Chicago for a half day of rest and relaxation. This is a fun time to be sure, but it is also an educational time for our young people (and even many of us adults) to experience firsthand that there is a big world out there... a world far different than quiet and comfortable southwest Missouri... a world that is full of hurried, hurting, and searching people. Sheep without a shepherd.
One more thing, and then I must get ready for bed... Selmore folks, you would be very proud of our teenagers and college students. Almost all of our morning and evening devotions were volunteered for by our young people, and they did a great job. They also worked very hard, and behaved very well. The future is bright.
Pray for us tomorrow (Friday) for safe travel. We hope to leave here by 8:00, which should put us home around 6:00 p.m. Also, please say a prayer tonight for Tim Spickard, Tim Pearson, and Tim Jr. (Yes, the three Tims.) They are traveling back tonight, and will arrive home in the early morning hours. (Tim Spickard had a commitment to keep, and the Pearsons are keeping him company on the drive.)
We look forward to telling you the story of our trip this Sunday night!