I had a good trip to Farmington, MO immediately after our Sunday a.m. services. I gassed up the car and grabbed a burger at Sonic before heading out toward St. Louis on I-70. Yahoo maps had estimated the travel time at 4 hrs, 42 minutes for the 300 mile trip, and they didn't miss it by much. I didn't stop at all on the way and made it in 4:35. I was trying to get there early enough to check in at the motel and also get by church early enough to check on my Powerpoint presentation, etc. Having left town right at noon, I managed that just fine.
The church was launching their Lottie Moon Christmas offering emphasis and the first part of the program was dedicated to watching some of the DVD presentations from the IMB that promote this year's offering. We watched a couple of episodes featuring Gabriel from Ecuador, an indigenous church planter in the Andes Mountains who miraculously was delivered from a mob intent on burning him after having doused him with gasoline. He fearlessly preached the gospel message and the angry mob disappeared. Several of those who heard him trusted Christ and became the nucleus of a new church.
Afterwards, I shared about the BGCM's partnership with the Guatemalan Baptist Convention, giving just a bit of history about how that relationship evolved and what we've been doing in the area of leadership training in the western part of the country for the past three years. I shared some pictures of that area since the church is putting together a team that will go in April to Quetzaltenango, the city where our training events have been held. Thus I was able to show photos of the hotel where they will stay as well as of the city. They are planning on conducting a VBS, doing some evangelistic outreach, and offering some leadership training seminars as well. It looks like they will have 12 or 13 team members going which is a really good-sized group.
Following the service itself, I met with the team that is going and answered specific questions they had relative to cultural issues, ministry opportunities, etc. It was a profitable time I believe for them and I certainly was encouraged by their enthusiasm and excitement about going. The church has taken previous trips to Belarus but this will be their first international trip to Latin America.
The return trip took closer to 5 hours as I got caught in traffic heading in to work in St. Louis. Otherwise, it was an uneventful trip and I got back in time to grab some lunch and then go make hospital visits. Tomorrow morning I'll visit the care centers and catch up on some emails, etc., before we head toward Texas tomorrow evening for Thanksgiving with my mom. Our oldest son and his family will also be there so I'm looking forward to the holidays together with them and hopefully with my brother's family as well. Don't know if I'll find time to post anything while I'm gone, but might manage a quick update.