The Bon Voyage party is now a wonderful memory. I was blown away... in more ways than one. Before I explain that statement, let me say "Thank You" to so many that helped organize and execute this small family get-together.
Thanks to Sally and my mom, for all the time and effort you made in providing the hors d'oeuvres, sodas, and snacks for the party. Also, thanks for staying under budget! You guys are the best!
Thanks to Allen and Donna Gonzalez. For bringing the chairs, tables, and supplies... setting up and breaking down, and for being a friend to me and this mission. I am honored to call you my brother and my sister.
Thanks to Lisa Bovaird and The Cake Boutique for the beautiful cake you provided. It was perfect and delicious. (If you need a special cake for your special event, give The Cake Boutique a call... you will not regret it).
Thanks to all the people who attended and even those who wanted to come but were not able. Your support for me and Mission Saint Lucia is special and God knows how much it means to me.
Like I said at the start of this post, I was blown away in more ways than one.
When the party started, so did the wind. Normally, Carrabelle is quiet in the evenings... weather-wise... not last night. The wind kicked up about 5:30 PM and didn't back down until about 7:15 PM. But wind wasn't the only thing that kicked up.
A few minutes into the party, the rain started to fall... if the phrase "Cats & Dogs" means anything to you, you'll understand my meaning. A torrential downpour of Biblical proportions, (OK... maybe I'm exaggerating a little... but not much). We had to move the hors d'oeuvre tables twice just to get them far enough under the pavilion to keep the food from getting wet from the "Rain that came is sideways" as Forrest Gump would put it.
Then there were the lightning strikes that occurred extremely close to the pavilion. I was told that one strike hit at Dockside Marina where Annie was berthed. (When I returned back to the boat after the party, the starboard side 110V power was knocked out). The lightning struck so close that a couple of women produced involuntary screams... I think I may have also heard a manly scream as well.
I told the group that it must be the devil and he was real upset about this whole Mission Saint Lucia thing. Who knows?
Regardless ot the bad weather, the party was a very special thing for me. It was a wonderful feeling to know that so many people were willing to come so far at their own expense, (some drove almost 400 miles one way), just to be a part of this send-off and to show their support for this mission.
Despite the weather, my heart was warmed and enriched by the comradery I felt last night in the midst of so many brothers and sisters. (Our brotherhood is more special than we realize).
My favorite part of the night was when we gathered in one large circle, held hands, and were led in prayer by Craig Harbin, Allen Gonzalez, John Hannaford, Tom Lane, and Ed Haines. I was moved by their petitions to God for a safe passage, and a successful mission work and that the souls of men and women might see God's great love wherewith He loves us. I was overwhelmed with a peace regarding the family of God and this mission work I have committed myself to.
Oh, also, I am also thankful for the gifts... including Wilson! You guys are the best!
Mostly... above all things and all others... I am thankful to God for giving His Son to die on the cruel cross of Calvary...
SO I COULD LIVE!
SO YOU COULD LIVE!