Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Celebration Stillwater, 2009

Our weekend was amazing! A large group of churches in our city plan an event of celebration every year at this time, aptly titled, "Celebration Stillwater" and it is a week-long outreach to the city with the love of Jesus. This year it began with a church wide rally /service last Sunday night. We all went as a family and thoroughly enjoyed being a part!! We have friends at a number of churches in town and its always fun getting to see them all at once, not just at a birthday party here or there or at Walmart. Sports camps every night for the children hosted by athletes from the university, cheeer leading camps were a part of the week's activities, a lot of behind the scenes preparation and prayer led by an amazing man named Terry Carpenter who has a vision for our city ablaze with the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. Although we should want to do "random acts of kindness" every day, and its really not "random" if a day is titled "Random Acts of Kindness Day", part of Celebration Stillwater is a Random Acts of Kindness day. This includes ideas like church groups going to laundry mats and paying for people's laundry loads, and even offering to tend and fold for people as well. ( I personally am not embarrassed by the undies of others, but I have a friend who I discovered one year, IS! ;-) ) Auto repair and service shops have donated free oil changes and check ups, several beauty shops donated $5 of every haircut they did on Kindness Day..things like that. I gave away goat milk to my customers all week last week. It was fun to be part of those kinds of unexpected blessings to people. Saturday was the Big Event and lasted all day long. We had signed up to help , and it turned out that what we did for the day was no stretch out of our ordinary day after all. A BIG favorite is always horse rides for the children who attend the Big Event. We and a neighbor brought our horses over. Gideon's employer has horses too. There were two teams of horse rides going on all day, with about 7 horses in each team. There were enough horses to keep the stream of children riding gleefully and to pull a horse out of the rotation every so often for a needed grass munch and a break. The volunteers got some break time too, but Charlie estimated that he walked at LEAST 50 miles of park turf! There was so much for people to participate in beside horse rides ! Booths from hair salons for free hair cuts to children 15 years and under, health and dental screening booths, a prayer booth where people could write down requests and keep going, or stay and be prayed with , a radio station booth with sign-ups for giveaways, a fire truck for kids to walk through and examine, hourly give away drawings for everything from a flat sceeen tv or bicycle to sidewalk chalk drawing kits, a church praise team played music off an on all day, the crisis pregnancy center, domestic violence acency, the Gideon Bible folks among many others had booths set up to share information. Huge blow -up attractions drew kids all day..big slides, "rock climbing " walls, SO MUCH FUN to be had!!!! There was also free food and beverage all day ( a lot of ladies baked a lot of cookies, a lot of people wrapped a lot of cookies, teens pouring drinks was another all day activity, the big smoker grills were kept busy all day with hots dogs cooking and lots of volunteers stayed just as busy wrapping those hot dogs and keeping up with the thousands of people who came by for food) Volunteers kept up with registration all day so people could get a bracelet ( needed numbers for the give away drawings) and gathering information to follow up on the participants next week. Every hour when a drawing was about to start, someone gave a short gospel message ................ At the outset a request for 700 volunteers was the targeted goal. I bet if that number was reached, every single one was busy all day!
What I saw was God's people just loving on our community, not propmoting A church or A denomination, but promoting the love of God. It was awesome to be a part of and we were blessed to be a part of it. It is my prayer that Stillwater will not just see God's love poured out, but receive it...................recognize personal needs and then respond to that need for redemption and salvation..........and THEN get into a Bible believing/teaching church ! I will be praying with thousands for good follow up next week. We can truly celebrate in Stillwater if people come to know Jesus as a result of the activities of last week!!!
By the time we all got home on Saturday night, we were pretty exhausted, especially Charlie (and our neighbor Lori) who had to make two trailer runs to get the horses to and from the park and who had to fix a flat tire on the trailer before he and Lori could bring the horses back home after 6 hours of park trail rides. He was a happy camper to find his supper on the table waiting for him when he got home, and needless to say, he crashed hard. I helped all day too, , but not nearly to the extent that Charlie did. BUT after he was done playing , I still had dinner to cook for our monthly after church shared dinner, cakes to bake and decorate, (this month I did 3 pumpkin shaped cakes and decorated jack-o-lantern faces with chocolate chips on them,) had Sunday School lesson to tweak and music to pray over and get ready to share in the morning. By the time I finally called it a day, it had been a very long day!
With friends in from out of town, birthdays to celebrate too, and Baby Charlie to love on, Sunday was a great day !
I love my life! I am so thankful to God for all He has done and is doing in our lives as a family and what I know HE is still accomplishing in me personally as His child!

1 comment:

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

WOW! HOW GREAT THOU ART!

What a wonderful weekend!

Love you and thanks for sharing how He poured His blessings onto your family and community who served as His hands and feet.

Jill