Day 3 (Sunday)
Since it was after midnight last night when we got back to our host family’s house, I was not able to make a post. Tonight I will give a little update on Day 3 and Day 4 of our trip. Sunday morning we woke up and us guys picked up the girls from the respective host homes they are staying at on our way into Chicago. We ate breakfast again at Shilah’s and learned a little more about our server and the owner. The server’s name is Daragh and he is from Ireland. We met the owner as well. Her name is Reyna. I watched as a table of our girls visited briefly with Reyna as she made her rounds greeting the customers.
During the church worship service, the youth were encouraged to take notes in the journals we gave them and a number of them did. After church we had lunch at the church and then began prepping for today’s launch of VBS. We ran into a number of tech issues and it took a lot of hard work to mount some special effect lighting, but by the very end of the day we had much of it functioning the way we had hoped for. By the end of the day, we also had a van full of exhausted youth and adults, but God is good and gave us rest.
Day 4 (Monday)
Bring on the Kids! I don’t have the exact numbers, but we had over 30 children come to participate in the 1st day of VBS including a healthy number of children from the local community. One of the highlights for me was seeing a number of children from the neighborhood come back that had attended last year’s VBS. One of the frustrations was having a number of the lighting fuses blow as we were finalizing the setup and we did not have extra fuses so the special effects lighting. Regardless, the children all seemed to have a great deal of fun and seemed excited to come back tomorrow morning.
After lunch we prepped for tomorrow’s VBS and cleaned the church building. Then, we spent a couple hours doing evangelism training with the youth. The youth pastor from COSC (Pastor Josh) taught a session about evangelism followed by a story from Pastor Lito about a time he was able to lead a friend to Christ. We did some interactive exercises related to sharing our faith and then repeated another round after a short break. This evening we were able to relax a little with Village Creamery icecream on a hot and humid night, laughing together and having fun together with the COSC youth.
Overall, it has been an EXCELLENT trip so far. Even the frustrations are teachable moments and opportunities to grow. During the sermon on Sunday, Pastor Lito shared a story about a time when he was missing something and could not find it. After spending some time looking for it, he finally prayed and asked God to help him find it. Immediately, he remembered where he left the item. This morning as AJ and I were scrambling to figure out what was causing some significant interference in the sound loop, we were getting concerned and running out of time. So, we stopped and prayed and it wasn’t long after that when we figured out where the inteference was coming from and we modified the setup to eliminate the intereference. Praise God for answering our prayers and praise God for giving us the opportunity to apply what we heard during the sermon.