Twenty-one people met at 7am this morning to begin loading vans and preparing for our 5 day trip to St. Louis. We are coming alongside two incredible church plants in the St. Louis area and will be participating in construction work and relational work. At about 7:35 we left the Graefenburg Baptist Church parking lot in two vans and two vehicles – ready to attack the road for St. Louis!!
Two minutes later we made our first stop at the Love Station to get some McDonald’s! I was driving a van loaded with an 8 month old, 2 year old, two 3 year old’s, a 6 year old, and 5 adults. Pastor Drew decided to ride in the van with the babies, which I found to be pretty amazing. Although it may sound like a nightmare ready to happen, the babies were simply incredible and the trip went by quickly without any problems at all. That was already something to be so thankful to God for!
We all arrived at our motel, the Super 8, at about the same time in Belleville, IL. Our first job was to unpack and then make our way over to Garden Heights Baptist Church where the Meal Team would be staying for the week. That church graciously offered their kitchen to us. We met one of their trustees, whose name was Mike, and he is an incredible servant leader. When we realized the refrigerator was not working, he just calmly said, “I will go get another one for you and have here this evening.” Sure enough, a few hours later a new refrigerator was in the kitchen and ready for use. Incredible.
Our construction crew headed out to August Gate to access the need and to begin gathering supplies. Meanwhile, the relational team met up with Jacob Ketchens, pastor of Sojourn Church, and began the process of canvasing the community. CJ Lipps went with me and Di Woodside and did an amazing job! We were able to knock on many doors and managed to get about 3 confirmations for VBS. We did not have a single home get angry or slam a door in our face. Jay Padgett, Susan Bryant, and Jacob Roberts were working in a nearby apartment community. They also had good results.
When we arrived back at Garden Heights it was clear that Carrie Bemiss and Joyce Jennings were in the kitchen – the place smelled incredible and we had a delicious meal ready for us.
The first day was a safe and successful day. I am looking forward to really getting rolling tomorrow. Now, if I can somehow figure out how to get Justus and Callie Grace to sleep in a motel bed……
See you tomorrow.