I have had three speaking engagements this past Sunday. All three were very different from each other . . . here's a little about each:
- Asian-American Church in Bigelow, MN: Bigelow is a tiny town of 232 people on the Iowa border. The old Bigelow Christian Reformed Church (CRC) closed a number of years ago. In its place grew an Asian-American CRC serving primarily Laotian and Burmese people, but also many others. I enjoyed the multi-lingual service with them, said a few words during the service, and then joined them for a meal in the church basement (primarily Lao food!).
- Pastor Lammers (who previously served the Bigelow CRC and now pastors the Asian-American church) then took me to the "Community Church" which is comprised of a handful of former CRC members and former Methodists. They meet in the old Methodist church with Rev. Lammers preaching every Sunday. I addressed approximately a dozen people (mostly elderly) and was very encouraged by them as they prayed for me, etc. There was even a daughter of the congregation visiting who is flying to Japan on Wednesday to teach at a university in Osaka for two years.
- On Sunday night, I spoke at the Hawarden (IA) Christian Reformed Church. I have many exended family there from both sides of my family. I had a good time visiting with many people after the service, answering their questions about Japan and teaching them the finer points of chop sticks! They will be taking a special offering for me this next Sunday.
I'm hosting two informational meetings in NW Iowa for old friends and extended family. These will be at the Sioux Center Pizza Ranch on Friday, August 28 (6-8 pm) and Saturday, September 5 (noon-2 pm). Please pray that God will bring many people there, that it will be a good time of reconnecting with many people whom I have not seen for many years, and that these meetings will jump start this fundraising process.
Pray too for my upcoming travel. I am making contacts with family, friends, and churches in western Canada and the US. My trip will likely include stops in Alberta Canada, Washington, Oregon, California, New Mexico, and Nebraska. This is obviously a long trip, requiring a lot of driving, planning, etc. Pray for my safety and that the trip will be productive.
Thank you for your prayers and support!