We have been on Deputation since July 27th. We have spoke in 8 churches so far and we have 19 more scheduled and several more pending. When we first set out from what has been our home for two years in Hobe Sound and came back to our original 'home' here in Indiana, we were not sure what to expect from this thing called "Deputation." We approached this new journey with a mixture of excitement, anxiety and a little fear of the 'un-known'. As a mother of four, my fears ran toward hoping that our children would behave themselves and that they would not get bored or resent the fact that we were taking them to a different church each week. I know that Satan had a hand in my worries as he will try to discourage and concern us as much as he possibly can when we set out to do God's will. I said all this to say that deputation has been a WONDERFUL experience for our family! And we praise God for that! We have truly enjoyed meeting pastors and their families and being treated like royalty in their homes. We have met some godly, Christlike brothers and sisters in Christ in the different churches that we have visited whose hearts beat like ours to reach out to the lost. God has helped us to 'connect' and make lots of new friends who we KNOW will be praying for us as we are in Haiti and pray for us even now as we are on deputation.
We were blessed to spend a few weeks at Athens Camp in MI. We met some very sweet people and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We got to listen to challenging messages given by Clair Sams and inspiring singing by the Orvis's each night. Our children got to be involved in the children and youth classes. Becca and Ben learned how to shoot a bow and arrow and were able to make their own to take home. They were also taught Biblical, character skills as they learned archery from the Shermans. It was an awesome program and we were thrilled that they got to be part of it! Abby and Caleb enjoyed the children's classes taught by Sis. Shrier and sang the cute songs she taught them about keeping our lives clean. Danny and I enjoyed helping in the kitchen and chatting with Sis. Orvis and Lisa :o) We fell in love with the camp and plan to attend every year we are in the States! We had a few services cancel that we had scheduled and feel that it was all part of God's plan for us to relax and get fed before going out to minister ourselves. Thank-you Athens Camp family for accepting and allowing us to spend a few weeks with you all there :o)
It has been refreshing to see the churches that have a heart for missions and are reaching out to their communities where God has planted them. We have seen some wonderful results of their efforts and can see that God is truly blessing them for their labour. A few examples come to mind: I told you about Pastor and Sally Voss who pastor Lower Light Mission in Petersburg, MI a few posts back. They are a beautiful example of true servants fulfilling the Great Commission. Pastor Voss is heavily involved in Prison Ministry Outreach and every sunday afternoon he spends his time at the prison while his wife cooks a big sunday dinner with their new converts and whoever else has came that sunday. They are both well-loved and respected! Half of their congregation is comprised of converts who were addicted to drugs, alcohol and other bondages of sin. They have given their lives to Christ and it is beautiful to see their shining faces! They have new life as a direct result of the Voss's living their godly lives before them and just shining Jesus:o) We were challenged and encouraged after visiting their church!
There is another church we visited this past week that also challenged and encouraged us. Dunkirk Friends church in Winchester, In has a thriving Bus ministry and it was easy to see that the congregation loves pastor Edwards and his sweet family. Pastor Edwards loves the children and they love him! After sunday school, he leads the children in 4-5 children's songs just for them and they love it! The church was packed when we were there and are in the process of re-modeling as God has blessed their outreach. I posted Pastor Edwards family picture that I took and in less than an hour there were over 30 likes and quite a few favorable comments. That tells you a lot about this dear family that we were blessed to spend sunday afternoon in their home. Angie Edwards fixed us a delicious dinner and we enjoyed our afternoon with them. Truly God has great plans for this little church that is reaching out and making a difference in their community!
There have been other churches that we have visited that I will not mention for lack of space and time that have been so wonderful to us. They have just opened their arms, loved and prayed for us and made lasting impressions on our hearts! We have many more to visit and we are looking forward to what God is going to do through us and through them as we all continue to fullfill His Great Commission whether it be here in our homeland or on foreign soil.