Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why Pray?

Well, we have no doubt that God answers prayer! Before we left Michigan, the children had been desperately praying for snow, enough that they could at least play in (the word "Blizzard" was even mentioned...yikes). Well the last day, as I was packing up, we got hit with snow and more snow.

The Lord was definitely with us as we carefully backed our home away from the church and down a hill, without it becoming the world's biggest sled. This was done with the Jeep in tow. On the way to pick up the children we learned how slippery it was when the Jeep slid a little wide on one turn...carefully Tom.

Well, we had a great time with the Snyder family in Hudson, Michigan, and it was a great trip on so many levels. Our kids played in the snow all the way till we drove off, and about 1 mile east the snow was 1/10th of what it was nearby. God had answered the children's prayers.

Of course, they still wanted snow and God kept answering their prayers as we drove along the Ohio Turnpike last night. Now we needed prayer of a different sort, since slippery roads with a large RV and towed Jeep is not exactly ideal. The Lord was good to us and before it got too bad, we stopped at a rest area (complete with Burger King and Starbucks).

It snowed all night and was very deep in the morning, so we went and had breakfast while the roads were plowed and salted. Evidently it was a record day, and we can attest to at least 12 inches of snow on the ground! It was evident that God's hand was guiding us, when we got back on the road and a few miles later saw a semi crumpled and jack-knifed in the trees off the shoulder.

It was smooth sailing all the way to DC, where God's protection was evidently needed as we went around the beltway...there were 5 accidents (one shut down all lanes) within a 5 mile stretch. It reminds us how dependent we are on the Lord for our safety as well as His provision.

Thank you all for your prayers!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Michigan Whirlwind

It has been a while since our last update, and we have been very busy! When we first arrived in Michigan, we had a meeting with the Community Baptist Church in Madison Heights. Sunday evening I preached and sang and we had such a sweet time of fellowship with the people there, even though we were only there for a brief time. Ultimately, the Lord allowed us to return this past Sunday, since they needed a music leader and we did not have any obligations for that Sunday. It was a great day for us, even though we missed Pastor Rathbun and his wife (they were out of town).

We left our Jeep in Troy, at my uncle's house, to save on the gas up north and we traveled to Camp CoBeAc to meet up with my mother, Debi Pryde, who was doing a women counseling seminar there. The camp was so very gracious to allow us to stay there for a few days, and they even provided hook ups for our RV, which was a huge blessing.

Being there at the camp was a bit surreal for me. It had been over a decade since I was the athletic director during the summer between two years at BJU. There is a new director, Jeff Kahl, and the camp is bustling with the life of a vibrant and growing service provided to Midwest churches. I very much enjoyed meeting with Jeff and hearing of his vision for the camp in the future, and I look forward to the next time we can visit CoBeAc.

When we left Prudenville, we headed out toward Port Huron and a little town called "Goodells." There, we were scheduled to be with the Mount Pleasant Bible Church for their Spiritual Life Emphasis Week. It was a real experience to preach in a church that has been around over a hundred years, and we were so blessed by the kindness and hospitality of the church.

I had a particularly good time with the youth meetings on two Thursdays. They listened and asked very good questions as we explored Colossians and discussed what it means to do all to the glory of God. They are a great group who also managed to introduce us to "Extreme Volleyball," which is identical to volleyball, except they use a heavy exercise ball.

When we left Goodells two weeks later, we left many friends and we look forward to the next time we can minister with them. From there we made our way back to the Detroit area (Birmingham), where we were scheduled to provide special music at the Grace Baptist Church missions conference.

We have family that are members at this church, and whenever we have come to Michigan to visit family, we attend here. Pastor Whitfield was as kind and gracious as ever, and we enjoyed getting to know some more people that we hadn't met as well as renewing old friendships. (We hadn't been able to visit for many years, and we have added three children since then!) This church has only had one pastor since starting over fifty years ago, which is a testimony to both the church and their pastor.

That brings us back to last Sunday, when we returned to Maddison Heights and the Community Baptist Church. It has been a full few weeks, and we are delighted to have been able to minister among these churches.

God has continued to provide for all our needs, and lower gas prices have helped considerably. We are grateful for the generosity of each of the churches and others who have given to make this ministry possible. As we enter the holiday season, we continue to covet your prayers, since there is so much work to be done to finish the CD and to finish preparing the counseling course for VST.

Thanks again for your prayers!