Well, December 26th, Kevin calls Becca and lets us know that the church had given $13,000. We were floored. Let me put this in perspective. First, FBCI is not a big church, it is in one of the most depressed counties in Kansas, and they have never met us. Second, this is about 5/8 of our annual budget for Bright Vision in a year. So needless to say, this is a big deal.
So we needed to get out to Kansas to meet the church and say Thank You in person. We flew out on Thursday and spent Friday and Saturday hanging out with Kevin and Brenda and their four kids, who Yami loves! We went to the zoo, hung out with the youth at their house Friday night, went to the big city park and ate awesome hot dogs, had dinner with the senior pastor and his family. Sunday morning I had the privilege of sharing about Malawi and preaching a message on "Living out your faith", at three services. Later that day there was an Awana soap-box derby and youth meeting at Kevin and Brenda's house. We headed out Monday morning after a Kansanian diner breakfast (yeah I had a deep-fried and salted waffle, on accident).
So getting to hang out with Kevin and Brenda was really great. They really encouraged us with stories from the last few years of really difficult times at their church that have been resolving in the past year, and seeing God work some hard things out. By the end of the weekend we were laughing about pee and poop stories so we must have been pretty comfortable. We were also inspired by Kevin and and Brenda, in their heart for serving the youth at First Baptist. They have the kids over at their house twice a week, besides the weekly youth group at church. Opening your house to youth who like to eat, wrestle, and be loud isn't always easy. But they do it, often. They are very invested in the church and the youth, and we're grateful for their friendship.
So it looks like First Baptist is interested in sending a team out to Malawi to visit us and Bright Vision some time next year. Looking forward to seeing them again, that side.