Wow, what a week! I have yet to download the pictures from the museum trip, and I took very, very few pictures during VBS. A friend took some and sent them to me, but I haven't downloaded them yet. So, hopefully a more photo-filled blog will be forthcoming.
In the meantime, I'll share a word picture of our week!
VBS started Sunday night. This year we partnered with two smaller churches to do a joint VBS. We wondered how it would fall into place, just because a joint venture has its pros and cons. But, looking back on the week, the general consensus is that our visit to Crocodile Dock was a great success, even down to the grand not-so-planned finale! (More to come on that.)
Doug rotated with another pastor and one other man to teach the Bible lesson each night. The theme was "Fear Not!" with the topic centering around the life of Moses from the burning bush through the parting of the Red Sea.
My participation was more with the staff. I ran the "teacher's lounge" where teachers and staff could come for some food and drink as well as an escape from the chaos and decor of VBS. Yes, it was a cushy job, okay? I admit! And, I probably could have left the room a lot more than I did and found other ways to help, but it was really neat to interact with the teachers from all three churches and to hear their opinions about how things were going. I really enjoyed it!
Meanwhile, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the compressor on our air conditioning unit went out first thing Monday morning. I worked down my list of stuff that desperately needed to be done before I could leave the house for the day, and then carried lunch to church to cook it there so as to not heat up the house more than necessary. We stayed at church until VBS was over that night and then came home to a warm, but not unbearable house. Just as we woke up Tuesday morning and thunderstorm hit, and immediately the house cooled down several degrees - enough to get that exercise in and to take care of some things before needing to leave the house. That night it was pretty stuffy, so we put the kids in the school room where there was a wall unit (much to Steven's chagrin), and put all of the fans in our room. :-) Wednesday morning was pretty bearable, too. By Wednesday night, though, it was getting pretty tough to sleep. Thursday morning dawned hotter than Wednesday night, and I confess I was downright grouchy! We fled the house as quickly as possible and spent the entire day at the church.
When we still hadn't heard anything from the man who was supposed to fix our AC (his estimate had been that the parts would arrive on Wednesday), Doug gave him a call. We were told that the shipment had been delayed, and it might arrive in time for the work to be done Thursday night, but probably Friday morning. When Mr. Adcock called Doug just before 6:00 (right before VBS started) Thursday evening and said he was at the house to install the new unit, I nearly burst into tears of thankfulness!!
I drove to the house to make sure Mr. Adcock had everything he needed, he so graciously told me to find the breaker, leave a door opened for him, and then head back to VBS. I was so thankful! He must have done a speedy job because a little after 7:00 the storm hit. Oh, was that ever fun!! First, the power began blinking in and out in that very ominous power surge way. Then the bottom dropped loose. The wind and thunder were incredible! The power finally went out once and for all around 7:15. We kept going as we were for a while, but then in all the chaos we were told to gather all of the children in the hallway.
What began to circulate was that we were under a tornado warning (we found out later that was not true and that there were actually organizational reasons for putting us in the hallway), so you can imagine the fear that rippled through the ranks.
Remember what the theme of VBS was? Need a little reminder? FEAR NOT!
Thanks to the storm and power outage, we didn't get to do Family Night. No certificates, no slide show, no performances, and mainly only workers staying to enjoy the pizza (which was a blessing since Mazzio's hadn't had time to finish all our pizzas anyway!). But, God had a much more fitting end to the week. You see, we could sit in that hallway reminding those kids that they didn't have to be afraid in scary times like big storms and power outages. God is with us. FEAR NOT! God is powerful. FEAR NOT! God does what He says He'll do. FEAR NOT! God gives us life. FEAR NOT! God takes care of us. FEAR NOT! What better way to hammer in such a truth than with very practical and personal application?
Doug called for Spencer (our music minister) to come into the hall and start leading the kids in song. Within a few minutes panicked children went from crying to singing the "Fear Not" song. Little lights were passed out to each child, but as the tears gave way to song and smiles, more than lights lit up that hallway! What could have been a failure turned into a beautiful success.
We hope to go back and try Family Night again, but my prayer is that the message of Stormy Night will sink in with even more power!
As we headed home, we noticed that there seemed to be power on our side of town - until we got to our street. Yep, ours was one of two streets in our neighborhood without electricity. Mr. Adcock had been able to fix our AC before the storm hit - he'd even turned it back on for us! But, it hadn't had a chance to run before the power went out. The house was stifling. So, we headed right back to the church and camped out on the floor. Not the most comfortable of nights, but the power at the church came back on around 11:00, so it was our first cool night of the week!
On Friday we came home long enough to shower and get dressed, and then we headed down to Monroe to escape the hot house, and when we got home, the power was back on and the house was cool! We spent yesterday in recovery mode, getting all the rest we could before heading into a new week.
I wish I could say I'd been patient and enduring through it all, but I can't. By Thursday morning I was a grouch. I'm thankful that God doesn't give up on me, and I am confident that I'll have another chance to endure at some point! :-) But, I honestly can say now, looking back, that giving up electricity was a small price to pay for those few minutes in the hallway at church Thursday night.
God is so good to us. We never have to be afraid. Of anything!