I traveled from 80 degrees in Indio California to minus 30 Celsius in North Battleford Saskatchewan. Now I am in Lloydminster finishing up this trip with Don Petrokowski. Preaching for Don and Dale Ramsey is a bit of old home week for me. I have known Dale and Hope, and Don and Meagan for 20 years now. I met them both when Joan and I came out to Seattle from Wickenburg in 1988. Dale’s church was a true United Nations experience. His church had people from the Canadian Indian tribes, India, Nigeria, Columbia, Mexico, Korea and the Urkraine. He had shared a sermon he preached at the Canadian conference about ministering to immigrants. I watched Dale in action when he confronted a local land speculator about taking advantage of some of the immigrants in his church. Dale’s church member apologized for Dale having to get entangled in the mess, but then thanked him for his action and mentioned how well the speculator was treating her after the encounter. In one of my sermons I talk about the Indian cooking I enjoyed in Zambia, this must have hit a nerve because we had a Nigerian meal with Johnson and his family (his wife is from Nigerian royalty) (his oldest son is a tall 14 year old basketball player) (his youngest is a good natured young man) and an Indian meal from Adam and Mercy, two Indians with from Christian families in India. They shared their wedding pictures. I asked them if it was an arranged marriage. They said yes, but it was arranged at the behest of Adam.
I put together a combination Dating/Marriage sermon while here since I was preaching the day before Valentine’s at Dale’s and on Valentine’s at Don’s. I have never done that before, but I found the transition worked in ministering to the singles as well as the married couples. I was fun to trot out the 10 rules of dating story. Don’s church was full of young people. The timing of my revival coincides with their departure to South Africa. Don’s family and their church’s band will be traveling, ministering in several churches, a parade and schools. I think the combination of events, a revival with someone who has been to Africa, their trip to Africa will serve to motivate and bring the church together as the snow melts up here.
Frank Amado treated me real good in Indio. Had some great Mexican food. Frank facilitated my trip to Guatemala. Frank is a Prescott Disciple which means a lot to me. One of the transitions our churches have had to make is how to run Saturday music scenes. In prior days music could attract people. But, many of our churches found these scenes to be unproductive and a real drag on the church. We all tried different things to rather spice it up or alternative programs. Personal outreach tended to lead to a Christian life of just regular services. Frank has a once a month theme night. They were getting ready for the “Roaring 20’s” while I was there. They spend time decorating the church, they dress to the theme, their dramas match the theme and the church has a potluck and he gets visitors every time.