2010 Canada Mission - Day 3

The Lord's day was spent with worship, fellowship, and carnival.  Here's the breakdown:

Worship

We again broke into two groups this morning.  One group remained at Western Christian College to worship with the Northwest Church of Christ.  I went with a much smaller group to worship with the Glen Elm Church of Christ.

The Northwest church was led in singing by Tim Olree and Tod Vogt brought the message.

Worshiping with Glen Elm was a blessing for all.  Jason Bandura preached an insightful lesson that was very easy to listen to.  The Lord's supper thought was an extended passage out of John and 1 Corinthians read in a dramatic fashion that made it sound fresh and real.

Carnival

The Northwest church hosted a carnival at a nearby park to prime the pump for the upcoming VBS.  We had hot dogs, cotton candy, stilt races on large tin cans, face painting, bean bag toss, "bowling", Frisbee toss, parachutes, and more.  We started slow, but by the end we had around 50 kids - 37 of which registered for VBS - and 20 or so parents.  Locals say this is a phenomenal turnout and is a good omen for the week ahead.

Towards the end of the carnival, we had a bit of a scare.  One of the 3 year olds with a face painted like batman wandered off and couldn't be found.  We sent out people and drivers to look.  Fortunately, he was soon found at home by his mom.  He needed to go to the bathroom and walked home without telling anyone. 

Observations of a Clown written by Martin Tucker

Clowns are born to be what they are.  But before they can fufill their true calling, they must choose to be chosen.

Some children eagerly anticipate the precense of the clown.  Upon his arrival they sit at his feet and watch as his face is prepared to bless them.  They want to know his name and want their name to be known by them.  They are thirsty for his light heartedness in the heat of the day.

Some children reject the clown.  An expression of fear cast his way or the crying out of "Don't come near me!" push him away.  Nothing the clown could do would allow him to be received by these children.

After the clown has offered his presence and brought a moment of laughter or peace, a few children will want more.  They want a relationship with the man behind the face paint.

So, I ask you ... Is a clown still a clown with the face paint off?  Because if he truly has the heart of a clown, he must trust these few with his true face.  You see, their trust of him was the beseeching of his costume while his "game face" was on.  So, to be the real deal and push the relationship beyond the costume, he must release his fear and trust them.

I hope to spend time with Karen & Carrissa tomorrow.  I pray the my trusting them with the closeness of the brush strokes on my face will open wider the door of their hearts.  To trust the One in whom I trust.  For only they can go beyond me to grow in a relationship with those who rejected the clown.

What People are Saying ...

Paraphrases

Below are some paraphrases of various people I surveyed.

  • Harold Tidwell - I saw a lot of happy kids.  I was really impressed with the teens - especially the older teens.  They seem to be participating and contributing to the mission just like the adults.
  • Gerry Taylor - I saw something "click" with the Canadians and Americans - a recognition that there's something special going on.  We're a part of God's work that existed before we arrived and will continue on after we leave.
  • Keith & Cindy Maloney - At the end of the Northwest worship, a man named Oscar led a beautiful heartfelt prayer.  It was profoundly simple and simply profound.
  • Amanda Eicher - I  liked working with the kids.  They seemed to have a lot of fun.  It was scary when the little boy went missing.

How is God Stretching You?

Here are some miscellaneous comments from the nightly devo about how God is challenging you to "go beyond" what you are:

  • I am very introverted and it is difficult for me to be around so many people all the time.
  • I am too used to being a couch potato at home. 
  • I am having to learn patience when dealing with young kids.
  • It is hard for me to not take a shower as often as I like.
  • Kids are following me around everywhere "ready for loving".

God Stories

Missing Boy

It was great the way everyone rallied when the boy went missing.  No place was off limits.  No bush not looked into.  It was heartbreaking to hear the mother cry for her child and heartwarming to see them reunited.

Encouragement in the ER

One of our teens had a rash.  Greg and Tiffany took him to the ER last night for some Benedryl and a checkup.  Around 1 in the morning, Greg found Tiffanie encouraging and ministering those who were unfortunate enough to be there also.  What a great statement to recognize and take advantage of the opportunities God gives us.

Terry the Butterfly

Terry Thompson was very patient when it was his turn to have his face painted.  What a good sport!