Sunday 16 April 2006, 10:08 pm
Easter Sunday, April 16
Today we attended the Easter service at
Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Odessa.
The last time we attended a VCF
was two years ago in Gillette, Wyoming. That church was small, we met
the pastor and several others, and we got lots of good advice about
what to see in the area.
We didn't really know what to expect, but we were hoping for a smaller
church, where we could meet people. What we got was a miracle!
As soon as we walked in the door, several people introduced themselves.
David, Mark, one other I don't remember right now. We were made to feel
very welcome. The church was very small. I think there were about 50
chairs set up, only about 25 of them occupied.
Pastor Tim Lien
gave what he called an "atypical" Easter message, but
it was meaty and well-received. Mary told me later she got a lot out of
it, including some "homework" for when we get back home, and she asked
the pastor later for the name of a book he mentioned, so we can buy it.
At one point, Mary started sniffling with allergies, and someone passed
us a box of kleenex.
After the service, we were talking to David,
who had introduced himself
earlier. We were telling him about our trip to Mississippi, and about
the needs there. He offered to pray with us, then yelled for others to
come and pray with us also. The pastor's wife, Mary Ann,
came to pray with us. In addition to the relief effort with
CityTeam, Mary asked for prayer for Matthew, who is with the Marines in
Iraq. David and Mary Ann prayed for us mightily, and Susan gave us a
prophetic word of encouragement about Matthew's safety, which matched
almost word-for-word the way I myself have been praying for Matthew
Not only that, but after we prayed, David gave us some money and
Mary Ann wrote us a check from the church, to use for "whatever we need."
It's not been very often that I'm offered money, and I didn't really
know how to respond, but the givers were very gracious even sensing
my discomfort. Unless some pressing need presents itself, like the
truck breaking down or something, we intend to turn this money over
to CityTeam when we arrive in Bay St Louis. When we left there in
November, there was a pressing need for pots and pans for people who
had been moved into trailers but had no way to use the kitchens.
The needs are probably different now, but we expect they are just
David also took the time to tell us a nice way to get to San Antonio
on back roads, since I-10 is so ugly through west Texas. The back
road goes from Midland to Sterling City on hwy 158, then to San Angelo
on hwy 87. In San Angelo, we stopped at a Denny's for Easter dinner.
I'd have preferred a good Texas steak, but this was the best meal
we've ever eaten in a Denny's (breakfast for Mary, Tilapia for me).
From San Angelo, we continued on hwy 87 to Eden, then hwy 83 to
Menard, then hwy 29 to Mason. In Mason, I let Mary take over the
driving. Since she prefers the freeway to the backroads, we headed
out to I-10 via Fredericksburg and Comfort, bypassing Luchenbach.
Darn! (eh?) I slept while Mary navigated I-10 down to the beltway,
where we found this nice Howard Johnson with wireless internet.
Tomorrow, we hope to eat again at Karam's
mexican restaurant here
in San Antonio. (We ate there last summer when we visited here for
URDC.) Then it's about 3-4 hours to Houston. On Tuesday, we hope
to vist the Kennedy Space Center
and other Houston attractions,
including some kind of butterfly museum or zoo.
Then on through Louisiana to Mississippi. Bay St Louis is just over
that border. We are due to check in there on Thursday, April 20.
We've been told not to miss Cajun Charlie's
in Sulphur, Louisiana,
near Lake Charles. The manager of Denny's says it may have been
wiped away by Hurricane Rita last year, but he's like to know if
it's still there. Sounds like our kind of adventure.