Today, we went to Wesley United Methodist Church, here in Macomb, IL. I sat in the pews and witnessed new members being accepted. One infant was baptized. The proud parents and grandparents were up front to present their child to the Lord. It was a great moment to see.
Carmen and I are back from Denver, CO. We came in last Thursday. On Friday afternoon, our whole family went to Rushville, IL, about an hour away from this city of Macomb, and visited the Rushville Family Camp of the Gateway Conference of the Free Methodist Church. It was a wonderful time of fellowship. We sat around the courtyard beside the tabernacle and chatted. Carmen and Jacob went about playing carpet ball with some of the kids. At some point, I threw around some water balloons with Les and a few adults. I talked to Blanch, Sawanna, Kathy, Denny, Tim, Martin and numerous other old friends whose names I cannot remember. I also had a great conversation with Randy.
Randy is a middle-aged man who was recently baptized in the Rushville Free Methodist Church. He shared to me his life story and the various crises in his life. I asked him: "What made you finally decide to go through the rite of baptism?" His response was a long story of God's gracious ways in his life and his family. It was encouraging to hear Randy's story.
In this time of Partnership Building, I look forward to meeting with our friends and chatting with them. Most of all, I eagerly anticipate the encouragement I will receive when they tell me their stories of how God's grace is abundant in their lives. Whether it is the child baptism of their grandchildren or their own personal baptism, I know I will be blessed. I love being present at Baptism Services. I love listening to the testimonies of God's people when they make that decision to follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Tonight, we will be going to Avon United Methodist Church (Avon, IL) where a lot of our prayer warriors and friends are located. We will have a time of encouragement. I cannot wait!