We went to two churches yesterday, the Lifestream FMC and the New Hope FMC, both in Grand Rapids, MI. At both local churches, the pastors were out for a vacation, something they already had arranged before we made the appointment. Nothing major, just a minor glitch in our visits. At Lifestream, Carmen, the missions coordinator, was there to usher us in. I got to play bass guitar with the worship band. That was fun. I was grateful to Linda, the worship leader, invited me to join in since their guitar player was not around. We saw some old friends: Janet, Phyllis, Mrs. Graybill, Forest, and Chuck, all of them we met when we were in this church three and a half years ago. We also met new friends, Richelle, Rachel, Dave and Theresa. I saw one of my Facebook friends, Roberta. After church, we went downstairs to have our lunch potluck. I remember the Nursery Room where Jacob stayed three and a half years ago, when he was just a 6-month old baby. I had a chat with Mary and Joe, about their daughter who is in China with her family doing missions work for children. I talked to Roschelle and Joe, who are into some kind of financing ministry. I promised them I would check it out sometime later during the week. What a lively church. Full of activity and passion for God's community.
We headed out for New Hope FMC for the evening service. Esther, the missions coordinator, was there together with David and Donna. More people trickled in as we waited for the presentation to begin. There was Gene, Joyce, Cathy, Kim, Kathy, Lora, Jason and a few others I cannot remember. It was a small group. We had some food during my presentation. After my talk, on our way out, Cathy came to me and said, "You are right about the church who is involved in missions. It has no other place to go but grow." She was basically affirming my missions challenge, "Go and Cross Cultures." I said a short prayer for this congregation that someday it will send a team from its locality to participate in a missions trip.