Monday, April 23, 2007

Awesome weekend!

We had a great weekend as a church this past Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we finally got to do our "Water Outreach" that we had originally planned to do back in March. We had to bump it back because of weather, Easter weekend, etc, but on Saturday, April 21, about 30 members of our "CARE Team" gathered to give away free bottles of ice cold water at the intersection of Hwy 28E and the Expressway. And it was great!

We met at the church first for a safety briefing and prayer and then carpooled to the water distribution site. We divided into three teams and started handing out the iced down bottles of water and the colorful cards that read: "We hope this small gift brightens your day. It is a simple way to say God loves you - no strings attached. Let us know if we can help you." In under an hour we had given out 600 bottles of water (including the original 500 we had purchased and 100 that were donated by Pepsi when they heard what we were doing.)

It was very rewarding. We got a lot of positive comments and most folks gladly accepted the free cold water. A lot of people offered us donations but when we wouldn't accept their money you could see drop their defenses and become less suspicious. When asked why we were doing this we would respond by saying something like, "We just wanted to let you know Jesus loves you ... and He cares that you're thirsty."

It was a great day and everyone who participated really enjoyed it. Our group was easily recognizable with our yellow "CARE Team" T-shirts and our "FREE WATER" signs. We've already received phone calls and comments from people who either received water or saw what we were doing and were impacted by the outreach. We're definitely looking forward to doing it again!

Then on Sunday we had another great day! After a wonderful time of worship and teaching we headed out to the Buhlow Lake Recreation Area where we had reserved a softball field. Lane Fletcher, Warren Spurgeon and a new member, Fred Mennerick, had everything set up and were cooking hamburgers, hotdogs and sausages when we got out there. We had a wonderful time eating together - Fred cooks offshore and really enjoys it ... and it shows!

Then a bunch of us headed out to the softball field. We had about 40 people who wanted to play so we divided into two teams and everybody played ... and I mean EVERYBODY! It's tough to get a hit when there are 20 people out in the field playing defense! But it was great, especially the spirit of commradery and fellowship. When any of the little ones would come up to bat we'd make sure they got a hit and got to first base, even if it took 10 strikes and a dropped or mis-thrown ball! We did the three outs per inning routine but no one kept score ... it was just great fun.

We were also joined by friends from Sharp Baptist Church which we had invited to join us for the afternoon. It was great to see some old friends who came out to fellowship. Some of our newer members were able to be there and I think they enjoyed it as well.

Everyone pitched in to clean up the site so we could leave it in better shape than we found it. Then we headed back to the church for AWANA, tired and sun-burned, but happy!

I want to give a special thanks to Lane Fletcher for his help with the water outreach in supplying the ice and for ram-rodding the softball outing. The softball/cookout was his idea and he really made it happen (in more ways than one). I appreciate the way our members are stepping up to serve others ... Jeff Murphy in organizing the water outreach, Rita Zito in making up the giveaway bags, Warren and Fred for cooking and all the CARE Team who gave up part of their Saturday afternoon to bless others in the name of Jesus. I'm so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful body of believers!

I LOVE serving Jesus with you!
Nathan
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