Day 3 - Love Always Wins

Today we woke up, had breakfast, and headed to the KFC Yum! Center for our first service. Harbour (a band of Trevecca graduates) led the worship and will continue to do so for the rest of the week. 

Rick Rigsby delivered the message on "Image". He urged students not to think of their image in worldly goods like clothes in a closet rather think of your spiritual image and how much time you spend with God. His hope was that he and we would live with an "empty closet and a tattered bible." His telling of meeting his wife, marrying, and her death touched the group. He said the preacher of her funeral used her tattered bible as a marker of the success of her life.

After the service, we boarded our bus for Farmdale Church of the Nazarene and ate boxed turkey sandwich lunches on the way. At Farmdale, we helped Pastor Arnie and his wife children's Pastor Faith with their VBS and at their retirement homes. The groups in VBS led children around, led games, helped in crafts, and helped with registration. The groups who went to the retirement home played games with the residents, performed music and pantomime for the residents, and helped with chores around the facility. 

Leaving Farmdale, we ate Chick-fil-A on the way to the hotel. After a brief time to change, we headed back out to the second session at the Yum Center. For this service we sat on the floor. Gabriel and Jeanette Salguero spoke about the "Kingdom". They spoke about the Kingdom not having racism, sexism, classism, or any prejudices and that in the Kingdom, we win because love always wins. 

After the service, we had a brief intermission and moved to the balcony for the concert. 

Lecrae was the first concert of the week, and the students really enjoyed it. They definitely did not want it to end. 

When we got back to the hotel, we talked about the services and projects that we did during the day. Tanner and his third grandma (Jean) killed at cornhole, and Caleb is good at bingo - who knew? Joey also asked the students and adults for their reactions to the services and how they will bring the Kingdom to their communities.

Day 2 - Boats, Bats, & Bass (as in music)

This morning we were able to sleep in later than the other mornings we will have in Louisville. Everyone was able to eat breakfast at Einstein Brothers Bagels attached to the hotel. 

About 10:15 we met and took the first of two group pictures. It was supposed to rain again on Wednesday, and we wanted to make sure to get at least one good one. We walked to the riverfront and took a second group picture in front of the "Spirit of Jefferson" riverboat. We had booked our cruise on the newer "Spirit", but found that we would be on the over hundred-year-old "Belle of Louisville". 

The cruise on the Ohio River was calm, but it did rain almost the entire time. 

Just about the entire cruise as fas as we can tell were NYC groups. The students had a lot of fun with some dancing with the group from Hawaii and others just relaxing on the upper deck. 

From the "Belle", we walked to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory  (not a short distance). Thankfully it was dry as we walked. In the Museum and Factory, we were able to watch all the processes of making a Louisville Slugger. Everyone got a small souvenir bat to take home. That should be fun the rest of the week and the ride home. Everyone with a little bat. 

We went from the museum to the convention center to register and drop off our Bundles of Hope project supplies. Then we went to he hotel to change t-shirts and go to Impellizzeri's Pizza for dinner. 

Dinner was great, but I realized that I had planned a lot of walking for Wednesday (and it wasn't over yet). We walked (surprise, yes?) to Fourth Street Live (an outdoor concert complex for the Trevecca Block Party with all the districts on the Southeast Field. We had Jake Neumar, Refuge, Rachael Nemiroff, and Awaken in concert for about two hours.

Tomorrow starts the conference portion of NYC ad we will also do our mission project tomorrow afternoon.

Day 1 - Yes kids... it does rain at Santa's Summer home

Today, we met at Cullman First around 8:00 and left by 8:30am. We made good time to Holiday World (we never got stuck in traffic like we had in 2011). Unfortunately, once we got to Holiday World, it was clear that the rainstorm that we feared was going to stick around a while. Although the park closed early and forced us to leave early as well, there were very short lines, and our kids got to ride their favorites multiple times. As they said, every ride on Tuesday was a water ride. Well not every ride. Some of us rode a first-person-turkey-shooter even though Jeremy and Lewis's shooters didn't work. 

We went from Holiday World to Mall St. Matthews for a little while before checking into our hotel (Hyatt Regency) in Downtown Louisville. We had a few minutes to breathe and change a shirt or two before heading to the bus to drive to Joe's Crab Shack. With the threat of more rain, we didn't want to be caught several blocks from our hotel in heavy rain. 

At Joe's most of us had seafood while the traitors had chicken and Matt Waldrep ate nothing at all. Sydney Waldrep danced to "Happy Birthday" with a great partner: a broom. It was not Sydney's birthday. 

It was about 11:30 when we returned to the hotel and met to distribute information on Wednesday and t-shirts. Tomorrow should be a fun day with the riverboat and baseball bat factory.