Showing posts with label true community. Show all posts
Showing posts with label true community. Show all posts

Sara and Troy's trip to Rwanda

Rory's brother Troy, and his wife Sara have begun an incredible partnership with one village in Rwanda. While on tour, they asked their audiences if they would be willing to sponsor a child through Food for the Hungry in the village of Gisanga. The vision is that Sara and Troy will return to this village annually bringing men and women from their American team of sponsors to build lasting relationships with this community in Africa.

Sara is just beginning to blog about their experiences, and it is worth adding to your favorites.
Be sure to keep tabs on this kingdom story as it continues to unfold.

Lakeside Chapel

I wrote the following email to a pastor friend while we were living out in Montana. This is the church that we were a part of for six months and was a beautiful glimpse of the kingdom.

Rory and I have been attending a Lutheran church since we got here. But to be perfectly honest, we do not feel like we belong and often end up standing awkwardly in the fellowship hall eating mini muffins while looking at each other, asking what the other wants for lunch. Without kids, I am not sure how we would ever permeate this congregation.

So we started going to a little church right in Lakeside. We thought it was Baptist the day we pulled into the parking lot, but then the bulletin said United Methodist. When we walked in, there were three people who recognized we were new and talked to us until the start of the service. Church began after about 50 people gathered in this small space. The pastor welcomed guests and visitors and asked, "If you are a visitor and would be willing, we would love for you to introduce yourself and tell where you have come from." One woman said she goes to the UM church in Kalispell and just wanted to check this place out. Another woman stood and said her parents grew up in the area and she is back to see their childhood home. We stood and said we are living at the Lutheran camp for the year.

Shortly after the pastor invited everyone to take a moment to greet their neighbor. Now this pastor is new, and it soon became very clear that he has trained this congregation in what to do during this time. Each person was aware of who the new worshipers were since we had all just introduced ourselves, and for the next full 3-4 minutes (which is a LONG time) we had our own greeting line. We did not have to move, but members continued to come up to us and ask- so what work do you do? How can you be here for the year? Writing your thesis? What is your thesis on?...

Then a few moments later the pastor stood and asked for the prayers of the people. He asked for prayer concerns and prayer thanksgivings. One woman said her niece was to have a c-section on Wednesday and asked for prayers. One woman began "As many of you know I have cared for my mom for the last 8 years in my home. But this week I had to leave her at the Lutheran nursing home. (she began to weep) She is in room 39 if you can ever stop in and visit her." And 2 women left their seats to go and sit with her the rest of the service. Another woman held her husbands hand and said, "Clyde's sister rolled her car on Thursday and is in critical condition. We have known for too long that she wasn't safe to be driving." And Clyde sat stone face with tears rolling down his cheeks.

These three events happened within the first 15 minutes of worship. Honestly, the rest of the service was decent. The preaching was fine, the music was comical (sung to a recording that played the melody on one note synthesizer). And yet, I was choked up because I felt so deeply connected to these people already. And did I mention Rory and I were the only ones there under the age of 50?

We miss Lakeside Chapel a lot. It's funny how long it takes to find a church that feels like home. But that was just the thing with Lakeside only too 15 minutes because the community was already so strong and they were eagerly waiting for visitors to walk through the door.

The cutting board of love.

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We’ve got friends who absolutely embody the word hospitality. Whenever we show up to their place we sit ourselves down at their counter and watch them make some unbelievable meal for us. They love to cook, and we love to eat and this seems to work well for everyone.

As we sit at the counter and catch up, this magical cutting board ALWAYS appears with the most incredible cheeses, dates, figs and raisons. I tend to squeal when John lays it on the counter.

The meal they were preparing this night was Short Ribs in a red wine sauce. Come now. Just look at this meal we ate. (Completely worth of getting my camera out to document.) I’ve got a great story that goes along with this evening of eating, but it’s a good one to tell in person…so ask me about the short rib night sometime. You’ll be glad you did. We love you John and Shannon!

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Rory's best coworker

Exciting things are happening at Weather Defender...Rory took out a lease on an office space in Omaha and is in the middle of reading through many applications to hire a programmer who can help him with all the future projects he has in his head.

But one Weather Defender supporter has kept a lower profile, though his support has been steadfast, his involvement sometimes too close (he likes to walk across keyboards) and his unconditional love of Rory, priceless.