Monday, June 18, 2007

Standing Together

Saturday evening - it was typical Iowa, 'almost-summer' weather. We gathered at our favorite little church in the 'blink-n-miss' town of Joetown. Seated in the hard, wooden benches were about fifty of our family's close friends who came out to show their support for my adventure to China.

Our family started out by singing a very fitting song for the setting:
"I recall a slender steeple, a church house filled with people
And voices lifted up in happy song!
With music so exciting, so warm and so inviting
I had to enter in and sing along!"

After we sang several more songs, our friends from HeartStrings played Amazing Grace and a very unsure version of Orange Blossom Special. (We failed to practice with our pianist before the performance! Not such a good idea.)

About midway through the program, it was fun to welcome the Ockenfels family to the small stage to share three very upbeat, bluegrass songs. The crowd really enjoyed their version of Cripple Creek, where they mixed in several simple, but very funny jokes!
Aaron: Alexander -
Alexander: What -
Aaron: Why were the little strawberries sad?
Alexander: I don't know, why were the little strawberries sad?
Aaron: Because their parents were in a jam!

During the time of the freewill offering, I had the privilege of showing a special DVD showcasing the ministry of Bring Me Hope and also what the summer camps entail. (Visit the site to see the same DVD!)

Tiffany and I closed by singing the song Handmade by God. It really summerized the reason I am going to China; to show those kids that they were made for a purpose, that they are special, and that I am so glad to be there spending time with them!

It was a special night of connecting with dear friends and seeing how they are standing with me this summer - both financially and in prayer! I know I am not going over to China alone! Thank you all again! You are all so special!
* * *
Of course no Chmelar event is complete without a game of football!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

such cute pics.:)
you are almost there!!
thanks for beimg my sister!!
thanks a million!!