Friends from Oak Grove (MD), Sunset Rd (NC), Rolling Hills (GA), New Bethesda (VA), FCA Delmarva (DE-MD-VA), Immanuel (VA), Kennesaw (GA), Lake Placid (NY), and more (AL, GA, NY, others) are working together as part of the North Country Ministries team.
In addition to the wonderful locals we got to spend time with, we met people from around the USA and from around the world. Some of us had the chance to catch up with old friends as well as meet new ones.
* Starting the day with the teams: a little exercise, worshiping the Lord through music, a devotion from God's Word, and breaking into ministry teams for the day
* Helping with Ironman registration
* Assisting the captain of the medical tent with a few duties
* Hosting a North Country Ministries booth - giving away free sno cones, balloon animals and face painting; inviting people to the Saturday pancake breakfast and IronPrayer worship service; and just having a great time getting to meet people
* Playing frisbee and other sports with students at the Lake Placid beach
* Setting up tables and chairs for a banquet for 2250 people
* Meeting people in E'town and inviting them next week's backyard Bible club
* Giving water, sports drinks, and carabiners to hikers at Pitchoff and Cascade trailheads
* Working to spruce up the E'town Social Center
* Driving some international students to Plattsburgh for shopping and more
* Helping a family from our church who is moving
Personal highlights for me included getting to serve with my dad, my sons, my sister-in-law, and my wife's sister's husband's father (figure that one out!). And getting to talk with my wife and daughter tonight on the phone - they are attending a Christian retreat for a few days in Blue Mountain, PA.
Quotes from some of our team about the day:
"It's not every day you need to drive an-hour-and-a-half (one-way) to pick up sports equipment to use for ministries. But it was worth it to meet the people we met today playing disc golf and other sports."
"We walked around town three times and didn't really see anyone. Then we finally met one family, and had a wonderful visit with them. We got to pray with them and really encourage them."
"Registered over 1500 athletes!"
"One athlete said, 'Save me some pancakes on Saturday!' Then he said, 'I will see you Saturday morning [at the Pancake Breakfast] and Saturday night [at the IronPrayer service]."
"Those tables and chairs are heavy!"
"A lot of people shared their name and race number with us so that we can pray for them on race day!"
"In the morning we played with some kids at the beach, and we saw them again in the afternoon. When we asked their grandparents why they came back to the beach they said, 'They were having so much fun with you guys.'"
"It was great to encourage the athletes as they came out of the water after training for the swim. They appreciated the encouragement and thanked us for praying for them."
"The kids loved the sno cones!"
"I looked after a golden retriever for one athlete while he went through the line for registration. We do whatever we can to serve."
"We are praying for many athletes to realize how much God loves them."
"One athlete introduced me to her family and wants to join our team by serving at the Prayer Station with us. She is a believer in Christ and is racing on Sunday. She was really encouraged by our ministry's presence at the Expo area and in other ways."