The missions conference we went to had the focus of church planting in the Pacific Northwest of the US. I know we're in Canada, but we're just over the border in southwestern BC, so the area is pretty similar.
There were four church-planting missionary families total. I do believe we were the oldest - yikes! LOL These men have either started or are about to start brand new independent Baptist churches in the state of WA, or in our case, BC. The purpose of the conference was to make the church family aware of the great need in the northwestern US and Canada for fundamental churches and pastors.
The church took wonderful care of us! I already mentioned the two hotel rooms reserved for us. There was a snack basket waiting for us in our room, with a variety of snacks from fruit to nuts to candy and snack cakes. The kids loved it! Well, Wes and I did too, but we can't indulge as freely as the kids can! There was also a little packet of handmade cards. I love handmade cards!
On Tuesday, the pastor took all the missionary families out to lunch and then had a teaching session to encourage us in all the little things about starting a church. It was very informative and helpful to us, and we came away stuffed! The restaurant was called Dutch Mother's in Lynden, WA. The servings were huge, even for lunch! I got a chef's salad, but it was so huge I couldn't even finish the whole thing. Then the pastor gave us gift certificates for dinner that night, enlosed in envelopes, for Mac's Supper Club. Well, we were so stuffed from lunch that Wes said we'd just save that restaurant certificate for another time, maybe make a trip down there sometime and use them when we weren't so full. I said ok, then opened the envelope to see what this Mac's Supper Club was, where it was, etc. I about died laughing when I saw the certificate - it was six $5.00 gift certificate booklets to . . . McDonald's!!!!! LOL Mac's Supper Club - it was priceless! LOL So we did go Tuesday night after all, but it was after church.
That wasn't all, though. They gave us and the other families a special love offering from their church. It was so very generous! We have been amazed over and over again at the generosity of God's people, and these people were no different. How we praise the Lord for His provision! We don't advertise our needs - God will supply them - so it's especially precious when God supplies the finances we need for various things. We pray that God will repay this church many times over what they gave to us! This isn't a large church, but the people's hearts are large, and we know from experience that you can't outgive the Lord.
So that's what we did while we were away. It was a fun time, refreshing physically and spiritually, and it was a blessing. But I'm glad to be home!