Thursday, July 12, 2012

Seattle Reach Week

Back last fall Josh (the other staff member at our church) began planning a mission trip to Seattle.  I was game from the get go, but we didn't know that four of us would end up making the trip.  After spending some time in prayer we decided we should take the two big boys.  We set out for Seattle on Sunday.  It was the boys first time to fly.  You think Jack was excited?!?
 After meeting our host home, which was an answer to prayer, and a good nights rest we reported for duty at FBC Martha Lake in Bothell, Washington.  We spent most of the first morning blowing up balloons, filling bags to hang on doors and getting ready for a school outreach.  Can you see the boys in the background working on signs?  They were a big help!  After lunch we handed out balloons to the children leaving school for the summer.  Then we hung bags on door knobs to advertise for a BBQ (grilled hot dogs) and a recreation camp. 
 Later that night we hit a Seattle Mariners game.  It was the boys first experience with a MLB game.  It has been way too long since I've eaten ballpark food.  Fred and I split a plate of nachos that was bigger than my head.  $40 later I would like to report that it was TOTALLY worth it!! 
 Jack is passing out some of the many bags that we passed out.  Within 5 minutes of the church that we were working with there are 25,000 people.  Less than 5% of them are considered "churched".  To say that FBC Martha Lake has a great task ahead of them would be a major understatement. 
 Here we are at a park in town.  We hosted recreation camps for the neighborhood.  The first day we had about thirty kids participate.  The second day the attendance was a little down, because, surprise, it was raining.
 The boys are at an apartment complex where we had a BBQ.  They were a big draw.  Where the kids in the complexes might be intimidated by us, they were eager to meet our boys.  When the children started coming out so would their parents.  FBC Martha Lake was able to meet at lot of new people.

 We worked hard to four days and then on our final day we headed into Seattle to see the city before our plane left.  We went to the famous Pike's Place Market.  There were people everywhere!  Everywhere.  It was like a giant farmer's market.  I could have stayed all day.  If I go back I will get Rainier cherries and eat them while I walk. 

Downstairs at Pike's Place there is a gum wall.  Gross.  Thankfully the boys shared my opinion.
 The boys got to go to the Space Needle.  I think they really enjoyed it.
 Here is our group before we left for the airport.  Jason, the pastor at FBC Martha Lake, is pictured on the right with his wife Melissa.  We all went to Union together...many years ago!

 We took this picture at one of our BBQ's.  We took it for the Unionite, since we are all grads of Union University.

The week went by quickly and many memories were made.  I pray that my boys have life long memories of sharing the love of Jesus with everyone we come in contact with, whether in Seattle, Paris, TN or wherever we may find ourselves.

Just a quick side story so I never forget a specific answer to prayer.  About a week before we left I began to feel very anxious about taking the boys.  You know, I was taking 2 young boys across the country to stay in someone's house...someone I had never met.  I was nervous about traveling.  I was nervous about staying a week at someone's house.  I was nervous about them acting wild and crazy.  I was nervous about them being tired.  I was just nervous.  Really nervous.  I began to pray for these specific fears instead of worry.  Boy, did the Lord answer those fears and calm my nerves.  I prayed that the host home that we stayed with would love children and understand boys specifically.  We drove to their beautiful house Sunday night, exhausted after traveling most of the day.  We walked upstairs and I will not lie, my heart was beating out of my chest.  She took us upstairs and showed us where the boys would stay.  And I quote, "We have two grandsons and I have this room set up for them.  Will this be okay?"  Will it be okay?!?  Talk about an answer to a specific request.  Believe it or not it just kept getting better from there.  God answered every request I made, plus more.  I still haven't stopped praising His name for all the great things He has done!
This is a picture of Diane.  Her husband, Mark, had already gone to work.  Precious people.  Precious.

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