Somehow, we often manage to trick ourselves into believing that our struggles are isolated. We assume that no one else wrestles and fails in the same areas as we do, so we keep it to ourselves. Can you imagine what they might think or say if they find out? The truth is, followers of Christ often are stuggling in the same areas, and if not, they did. There is power in prayer and transparency within the Body of Christ. We were definitely reminded of that power by multiple individuals that approached after last Sunday’s teachings. They told us about how much they identified with our stories and our struggles and how helpful and encouraging our words were to them. In some of those moments, it is easy to forget, but we mustn’t. God is working good out of bad.
In a short five hours trip through farm lands and through town centers of decades past we arrived in Otsego, Michigan. The town sits just outside of Kalamazoo. We had been invited to come share at First Baptist Church with rather short notice after a cancellation provided an opportunity which we could not turn down. Another chance to see and hear what God is doing in the lives of another community and share what He is doing in our lives?! Sign us up!
We arrived Saturday evening and spent time with Pastor Paul and Beth Laborde and their three too-much-fun little ones (Cameron, Wesley, and Braden). I can’t remember the last time I had any more fun smacking a balloon around the room! Jumping into as much ministry as we could, we shared our testimonies and stories of God’s maturation process for the Sunday School hour. I shared from the Word and we presented our ministry during the main hour. And later Sunday evening, we spent a few hours with the Jr. and Sr. High youth groups playing in the gym and I provided a short devotion and challenge to them. We felt an incredible amount of encouragement and energy from it through a busy weekend. Many conversations and with ministry leaders, elders, retired missionaries, a former pastor and more that left us so blessed and excited about the future and the path we are walking with our Lord.