At the beginning of March Uptown Church, which planted Faith Community and sent us here, sent a team to Prague to encourage our team and help the church out, especially in the areas of music and children’s ministry. We are so grateful for these folks taking a week off work to come hold our arms up.
Their travels got off to an interesting start with almost a 24-hour delay because of snow… somewhere. Somewhere where they weren’t going. So instead of arriving Saturday night, the team blew into town two hours before church Sunday afternoon. Which was good, because several of them were helping lead worship! Despite all their adventures, they showed up ready to rehearse and play.
One of my favorite things about this trip was that instead of coming to take over for us (which is also good), they came to work with us. So they got to participate, and also see a little of what Faith is like on our own. Between Faith musicians and Uptown ones, this Sunday I’m pretty sure we had the biggest band in our church’s history. We had the personnel for Freebird, had it come up organically. It didn’t.
Our friend Dave served us the Lord’s Supper. Leading together with him was a special treat.
During the week, half their team worked with our children’s ministry team (Bob Kenney and Melissa) to plan out and organize our Sunday School curriculum for the next year. That’s a big deal for a small church like ours. They also helped us think through some of the specific challenges facing our kids’ program.
Similarly, the musicians (including Uptown’s worship director Jeremy) had some brainstorming/Q&A sessions with Jessica and me, helping us think through how we can work toward excellence and efficiency in our music and worship.
We had one big event: a concert Thursday night with musicians from Faith and Uptown. It was a lot of fun and drew a great crowd, including church attenders and people who are in our community but won’t normally show up for church.
For our team, the highlight of the week was time spent in worship and prayer with the Charlotte folks. They listened to us, asked good questions, let us share the good and the hard of life and ministry here, encouraged us and prayed for us. To be heard, known, appreciated, and prayed for is one of the best gifts a missionary can receive, and we are grateful.
Thanks to the Uptown team and everyone who helped send them. They were a sweet shot in the arm at the end of our long winter.