Monday, August 11, 2008

Scary Sunday: Almost Attacked

I called 911 Sunday morning. I was alone in the church early with Sarah and Kristin cleaning and setting up. Twenty minutes before Sunday school was to begin, in walked a street person and moved toward one of my daughters. I intercepted him and asked if I could help. He smiled and put his arm around my shoulder but would not let go. I offered him some water or coke and he let go for a minute. I brought him the water, and said, "I offer you this water in the name of the Lord." He then spat it out on the floor. He made faces and cursed, but kept drinking it.

He then looked me in the eyes and began cursing and threatening. The street person then grabbed my shirt sleeve and raised a walking stick as if to strike. Without thinking, I started to go into a wrestling stance, but a thought came to me, "No. Don't fight. Even if you win, you will lose. The church will suffer for it. And if you lose, who will be here to protect Sarah and Kristin?"

So, I walked toward the front door, with him a hold of my shirt and kept talking. I was thinking, "If I can just delay him for 10 more minutes, some church members will show up and help." I spoke to the man, "So, that is how you are going to be. Why are you treating me like that?" He dropped his stick and bent down to pick it up and I stepped back, got my cell phone off the table and called 911. When the street guy saw that he smiled and ambled out of the church and walked slowly down the street and circled back as if to see what would happen. Two policemen came in time for me to point the guy out.

The police said the man was known to them as a vagrant who was on medication, but often did not take it. The officer said I could press charges, but the man would likely be on the street the same day with a warning not to forget his medications.

A new thought struck me during this conversation. Maybe this happened so that I could meet the police and witness to them. I responded to the officer: "You are a professional and know how to speak to people like that. I will leave this situation in your hands and trust your judgment and experience. After all, we are on the same team." He smiled and his deputy nodded his head and off they went to round up the guy who was still lingering around about a block away from the church.

The church members arrived at the end of this, and it made for a quite interesting sermon illustration and after service conversation. Praise the Lord no one was hurt. Next Sunday I guess the first person that comes will have to knock to get in. We don't plan on leaving the doors unlocked even 5 min. before service starts. It's a shame, but the situation could have easily been a lot worse.

Don't forget to pray for those of use out here on the front lines!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Recipes for Good Kids

Many of our college kids were involved in ministries this summer. Marisa, in the photo, went on a summer missions trip to Bolivia, where she worked as a councilor at Camp Tiger. It is winter in Bolivia, so I guess it was a winter retreat from their point of view.

We had opening services Friday night. We had a show of hands of how many led someone to the Lord over the summer and over half of the students raised their hands! That sure is a lot higher percent than I remember from my Bible college and Seminary days! They are great kids and we look for some quality pastors, missionaries and Christian school teachers to come from this group.

We are preparing for classes to start. Tina is the new cook and is learning how to cook for over 50 people. She loves it, but this first week has been hard on her. I have to teach Chemistry this semester and that is fine, but finding chemicals for experiments is really hard nowadays. With all the fear of terrorism and Meth-Labs, it has become almost impossible to get a decent chemistry set or chemicals. But our churches need educated pastors and our Christian Schools need teachers so we will press on and do the best we can.

You can help. There is a place for you! Can you peel potatoes, attend classes or get us some hard to get supplies? Well, OK then, join the team and let's make it happen!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Grilled Computers

We aren't quite as primitive as the guy in the photo, but our computer department was set back due to a lightning strike. We have power strips and UPS power supplies, but they weren't sufficient. We lost 5 computers and a router.

We are thinking of replacing them with laptops. The desktop or tower computers are cheaper, but after you buy the screen, power supplies, wifi-adapters and make space for them, they end up costing more. Laptops come with all these things. They are also cheaper to send through the mail.

The problem is, we don't have the funds to acquire them. If you have a laptop that is in working condition, but have felt you want an upgrade, look no further for a good reason to do so! All kidding aside, we have Bible college students coming in for the fall semester and e-mail and other such comforts we can offer them make a big difference to their emotional well being as well as their educational success.