Today was a busy and long day. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It is just the truth of it.
Here’s the recap:
(9:00 – 10:00am) The “Hour of Power” at St. Louis Avenue Nursing Home. This is our weekly service that we have been leading/participating in for over a year now. It is truly a blessing to visit with these dear people, and they really seem to enjoy and appreciate the time we share together. “Mother” Elvira Coleman was in her true form today, with her most notable comment coming during Brother Sam Nichol’s sermon. While speaking about working for the Lord and the blessings that come from it, Mother suddenly blurted out "And you get paid!". Amen. What a precious woman of God.
(10:30am - 1:15pm) We travelled to St. Luke's AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church off of Page to participate in the morning service with Pastor Claudine Murphy, one of our growing list of supporting pastors/bishops. We sang "Listen to the Rain" and then "Everybody is God's Child", which were both well-received. We always give the church that will be hosting the "Isle of Dreams" a little taste of what is to come later in the afternoon/evening. Pastor Murphy preached on how you have to let God make the change in you from the inside out - it's an "inside job". Afterwards we all were treated to lunch in the fellowship hall by this wonderful group of Believers.
(2:00 - 2:45pm) During this time, we prepared the sanctuary for the performance, bylining up chairs and covering them in black cloth. The stage was too narrow and shallow to hold us all, so we moved down to the floor level - placing us within 2 feet of the people in the front row. We proceeded to cover other seats and pieces of furniture which became the backdrop for this particular performance. After setting the stage, we proceeded to begin getting into our costumes, which were hand-stitched by Michael after the Lord's prompting). As is our custom and orderly way, we also read from Scritpure, prayed and sang praises to God throughout this time.
(3:00 - 5:20pm) The performance started promptly at 3pm, after a marvelous introduction by Pastor Murphy. It was readily apparent that this audience was very receptive and was going to thoroughly enjoy the musical. They were eager to join us in clapping and felt the freedom to stand and shout and move as they desired throughout the performance, which was nice. The music was kind of hard to hear at times due to using a boombox positioned directly behind us in the center stage area. Along with this difficulty was the fact that we had no monitors and were standing behind the auitorium speakers, so basically it was hard to hear the lead vocalist at times. Despite these two hindrances, everyone sounded great and performed just like the professionals that they are. Our two newest recruits, Mike and Lisette, seemed very relaxed in their first public performance, singing their respective songs with passion, emotion and strength.
After the scene in which Christ defeats Satan, we took a brief break to allow for an offering. Typically, we would leave the stage area and gather in a back/side room during this time, but due to the time restarints and space issues, this was not possible. So we sat there as the pastor and her aid led the audience in collecting a love offering to benefit the minstries of the "Isle of Dreams". It's odd for me to sit and watch people give to your cause while sitting in such close proximity to it all. God continues to bless us in our ministry, and the action fo taking the offering and the gift that was received are both heart-felt and appreciated.
After the performance, we met with the people and shared how God is leading us to something utterly amazing. It was a nice time of interacting on a personal level with some of the people, and it was good to give them a chance to come speak to us directly about what they had just experienced.
While sometimes it may be easy to question God's timing through all of this, it is obviously for our benefit that He is waiting to launch us beyond our current ministerial region. While we wait for the necessary events to take place that will lead us beyond our comfort zones, we continue to pray that God will use us in whatever fashion He deems is necessary. We also continue to ask that God will bless those who are working on the business side of the "Isle of Dreams", those who are actively taking this ministry before the Lord on our behalf and those of us who are partaking in the performance aspect of it all.