We have just kicked off the second half of the summer by converging in Bloomington, IL on Saturday. James came up from Metropolis, connected with Kim and Tyler in Troy and picked up Bonnie in Farmersville on the way to Bloomington. Max drove from Alma, MI to Bloomington and I came down from Wisconsin where my family had spent the week at the Family Life Conference at Green Lake Conference Center.
We had lunch at Dairy Queen and following that, changed over luggage, left Max’s car at Walmart and headed to Geneseo, IL. We arrived at Grace UMC about 5:30 and with the help of Pastor Lou and the great sound guy, Drew, we got all set up and ready for worship the next morning. Supper at Parkway Café in downtown Geneseo was next on the agenda and it was a great night. The owner even gave us all ice cream “on the house” because we sang there! After checking into the motel, we met in the lobby, planned, prayed and played dominoes before heading to bed.
7:00 AM came early as we met for breakfast before heading to Grace UMC. We led worship and spoke for both services – at 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM. The congregation was warm and highlights including singing “chips and salsa” and the children’s message with James and Roy. During Sunday school, we met with the youth Sunday school class and they asked questions about getting a youth worship band started in their church.
Following worship and lunch at Culvers (thanks again, Pastor Lou) we headed down to Lake Springfield Baptist Camp in Chatham, IL. This is a place I have been a part of since 1992. I have served as a worship leader, cabin counselor, speaker and team leader for several camps and events there over the years. In fact, as we got there, one of the camp ministry staff (who is now married with two kids) said to me, “you were my cabin counselor when I was in jr. high.” Additionally, the camp dean, Pat, who was in charge of the week of camp, was a camper back when I led music there. Time flies when you’re having fun.
Speaking of having fun – the evening was incredible. There were around 75 middle school students there and they were energetic, loud and really a great group. Since it was the first night of camp, we did music, ice breakers and some other fun stuff. It was a tremendous evening.
We pulled into Troy last night thanking the Lord for a great 36 hours and a great start to the second half of the summer. Tonight, we are heading to Union Grove Baptist Camp for the evening and tomorrow we will begin Jr. High Alive in Eldorado.