Well, the Littles are on their 5th day of school so that means that we officially made it through Summer 2016.
Trust me, it was touch and go there for a while. We crammed a TON into those 12 weeks. The kids sailed through it but for an old lady like me, it took some effort.
We started the summer by working some local events to get Pioneer Community Ministry‘s name out there. We passed out bottled water and swim diapers along with information about the diaper and formula pantry service and our upcoming VBS. It was such a wonderful insight into the needs of the community. We met a lot of people and were able to make some connections with other local community groups. We heard positive comments from several people about having diversity here in Eagle Mountain. As a Christian, white, stay at home mom I never would have thought that my presence would add diversity but when you’re in Utah it certainly does. (The Christian part – nothing else)
We were fortunate to be able to have Bobby Vanderzalm with us for the majority of the summer as a ministry intern. Bobby is funny, incredibly smart & has a huge heart for Jesus. He has the ability to talk to anyone and that is such a gift in ministry work. Bobby helped out with all of our events, lead games for our VBS, delivered diapers and formula, led devotionals and witnessed to those who would listen. He spent time at Temple Square and met with various local pastors. He was an incredible help to us during a very busy time and we will forever be Team Bobby!
Lori and I also led another VBS during the summer. We were the directors for SMCC‘s VBS too. Somewhere in a moment of delusion we thought “Hmmm, leading two vacation bible schools in one summer, 2 weeks apart with completely different curriculums??? Sure, no problem!” Unfortunately, Lori seems as crazy as I am sometimes so we are going to need to schedule out moments of clarity between us. Honestly, both weeks of VBS turned out amazing. Far better than we could’ve expected. The SMCC VBS allowed us to get to know many people in the church that we wouldn’t have met otherwise. Plus, our 4 kids were able to experience serving in the church in a major way.
The PCM VBS blew us away! In a place like Utah County, we were unsure if anyone would actually show up. On day one I was in tears as I saw real live kids signing in. My heart was so happy and grateful. Can you imagine the mess I was when we showed up for Day 2 and there were MORE kids there than Day 1? Out of all the kids that attended our VBS, only one child was not LDS. For us, that was overwhelming in such a good way. Those kids were hearing the truth of the gospel day in and day out for an entire week. They had questions about doctrinal differences and we were able to share with them what the Bible says about who Jesus really is. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year.
We also held a VBS family night on the last day of that week. Barry was able to preach a short message that night and I may be slightly biased but he was incredible. Not only were we there with the families from the VBS week, but there were so many other families at the park that evening and they heard the word of God being spoken and sang that night. Praise God for His hand constantly at work.
We had an incredible mission team that came from FBCW plus Lori’s niece and her boyfriend to help us run our VBS. These eight people will forever have a special place in my heart. They really immersed themselves in the culture here in Utah, learning about Mormonism and sharing their faith with those they met. They were exactly the eight we needed and God knew just who to send. We love y’all!
We also crammed in a little family fun time this summer too. We spent the day at the aquarium with the Brains and Lori’s parents, Mike & Barbara.
We went camping in Yellowstone & visited The Grand Tetons with our PCM Bible study group.
We had family come to visit, played cards, went kayaking, went hiking, spent the night at Snowbird Lodge & enjoyed hanging out and watching the Olympics with our Bible Study peeps.
God is working in Utah County. Is it an uphill climb? Yep. Is the enemy pushing back against us? Yep. Do we get tired and discouraged sometimes? Yep. Still, my God is the one who created the universe and holds it in His hand. He is the God who has always been and will always be. God is constant. He is truth. He is love. He LOVES the people here in Utah. He loves them in spite of the fact that they are following a false gospel. He is the champion of heaven and He will reign forever. What a privilege it is to be a foot solider in the army of the King!