Joann Ackerman helping kids enter the Inflatables
What does one tent, two inflatable games, 900 drinks, 21 coolers of ice, and many volunteers add up to?
This was my first Wooster Fireworks Outreach. I was filled with excitement as we gathered at the church for preparation. Our set-up teams arrived, we took all the ice from the building, gathered for prayer, greeted the inflatable company rep, and proceeded to the Kinney Field.
I marveled at how many people came to serve. I am so proud of each of them. One family, the Mills Family, came to set up. Nate & Carol Mills brought their kids to help out. The kids helped pull the wagons to get ice in them. They proceeded to the site to help erect the tent. Then they joined us in prayer for the outreach. We challenged them to pray for us as they saw ice, felt ice, tasted ice or heard the word ice throughout the rest of the day.
Faye Rush & Linda Gelsinger under the tent
Another group of heroes are Helen Thompson and Linda Gelsinger. Both ladies are fairly new to Wooster Grace, but both signed up to help with outreach. Helen pulled a wagon filled with water, ice, and cold drinks around the soccer fields with a partner. Helen was so enthusiastic--she wanted to start passing out cold drinks right away at 4pm. I love her gungho attitude. Likewise, Linda arrived to man the table of literature. She not only sat at the table to await people to come into the tent, but she also went outside the tent to meet, greet, and to invite others to come into the tent. She had a couple of long conversations with people while she was there. The great thing is both Helen and Linda are suppose to be seniors 60-plus years old. Neither one acted their age--both served the Lord with passion and heart. I hope I have their stamina and their desire to reach people for Christ when I pass the 60-year mark.
Bill Buckwalter engaging in conversations
I could go on and share how Bill Buckwalter lets us use his tent, he comes early to get tables and chairs for under the tent, then stays talking with people. Even after we finished tearing down, some high school students arrived asking if there were any cold drinks left. Bill took the time to talk with the students for an extended time. Contacts he has made in the community with athletes who are very influential in high school.
Overall, I praise God for the hard work and the presence of our church WITH the people of Wooster on THEIR turf. As Jesus said, "Go!" I thank God for our church's core value of reach out. May God bring people closer to Him through this contact of people in our community.
Marlin Oyer engaging people
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