|Wanda, Elaine and I (I'm the one in the middle, lest there be any confusion)|
The drive to Grande Prairie is about 5 hours. That was my wife and I with Elaine Young, Sunday afternoon after church. After a fitful sleep on a rather hard bed (my granddaughter lent me hers, as we saved a hotel bill by staying at my daughter's place in GP), we hosted a two-hour Relationship Central meeting at the Christian Fellowship Assembly on Monday morning. Numbers were a bit disappointing, as at least two churches who had committed to attending were not there, but the response from those who did attend was quite encouraging.
From there it was a two and a half hour drive to Whitecourt for another meeting, at the Family Worship Centre. Again, numbers were disappointingly low, but I believe we may see some fruit from our visit. I'm finding, when I try to include the Relationship Central courses in my discussions with churches, there is an increased interest arising from nothing more than an increased awareness that they exist.
Now, allow me to take time out to vent on a particular point of frustration. At one of our stops I said to the pastors who attended that I had hoped to see the pastor of another particular church in town in our meeting. One pastor present said, "O, I just spoke with him this morning," then proceeded to call him on his cell. When he hung up, he said, "He didn't know anything about it, otherwise he would have been here."
Now, there had been at least three e-mails from Alpha Canada regarding this meeting, in the month or so leading up to it, plus one personal one of my own, and a voice mail message left by me the Friday before. The pastor called back and said, "I just checked my messages and found it, but unfortunately, I can't make it now." This is not a criticism. I would not begin to judge the workload or the busyness of our pastors. It's just a point of frustration that messages don't always get through.
After the balance of the 5-hour drive back to Leduc, it was down to Lacombe the next morning. Another hour on the highway. On my way down I dialed the Alliance Church in Innisfail, which is about 35 or 40 minutes south of Lacombe, and lined up an appointment with the pastor there. Again, in Lacombe attendance was disappointing, but I had a wonderful and encouraging meeting with Pastor Leon Johnston of the Wolf Creek Community Church. So, down to Innisfail, then back home. Wednesday and Thursday were spent on the road around Edmonton meeting with Chinese churches with Wanda Ho, our National Chinese Alpha Director (more on that on another post).
All this to say that by the time Thursday night rolled around, I found myself perhaps more weary than I can ever remember feeling.
I guess I'm not as young as I used to be.