| Jun 23, 2013
Day Ten — Longview, WA
5 miles walked today
56 miles to go
200 people joined me on my walk today.
All were attending the morning worship service at Longview Community Church in Longview, WA.
This wonderful church has faithfully and generously supported our work for almost 30 years. Every three months, they send us a financial gift from their missions fund. When disasters happen, the church often takes an additional offering to help us with our response.
In 1986, the church sent a volunteer team to help build a medical clinic at a garbage dump in Mexico City. After building the clinic, the team came back and led an effort to build a homeless shelter in Longview. Currently, the church serves as the site where one of our mobile dental vans comes to provide dental care to people in the Longview community.
For almost 20 years, church members have attended our annual fundraising banquets in Woodland, WA. Pastor Gillihan and Pastor Williams from the church often participated in the banquets by praying for God’s blessing on our efforts.
But, the most significant contribution that I have personally received from the church are the cards that the missions committee has sent me over the years. Every few months, these cards would show up in my in-box. Each card had a message of spiritual encouragement. Each card was personally signed by the members of the missions committee. Often, they added personal notes.
The cards have often come at times when we’re facing significant challenges as an organization, either in terms of responding to major disasters, taking on new program opportunities or facing significant decisions.
The members of the mission committee didn’t know the issues we were facing when they sent their cards, but God knew. He often used these cards to provide encouragement and blessing when things were not easy.
Longview Community Church is just one of many generous and faithful church partners that support the work of Medical Teams International. The funds, volunteers, prayers and personal encouragement provided by these churches have been an enormous blessing and help to us over the years.
That’s why I decided to stop at Longview Community Church and to worship with them today.
During today’s church service, I had the opportunity to speak to the members of the church. I thanked them for their support and also invited them to join me on my walk. I asked them all to stand up and to walk in place for a minute.
Graciously, the entire congregation stood to its feet. Every member walked in place. As I calculate it, 200 people walking in place for one minute amounts to about 6,000 steps. That’s the equivalent of 3 miles. Not bad for a minute’s walking.
And, a lot to celebrate today.