It feels so good to be writing a newsletter again. I noticed the last one I wrote was back in late June, and I didn’t realize it had been so long since we’ve updated you on the ministry. The summer has flown by, and things have actually been crazier in our lives this year than last.
We have been blessed that Cheryl has been able to sing more this year than last, as she has made all the Gospel sings this summer except one. She has also made some of our dates at retirement communities, especially in South Dakota and Iowa, though I’ve still had to do many of those on my own. Therein lies some of the reason for the craziness of the summer. Several times Cheryl had to drive to meet me for concerts, which means we had two vehicles out at the same time, as well as shuffling clothes and equipment between the car, the van and the camper. It made for a hectic time, but it was worth it to have Cheryl singing and spending time with me quite a bit more than she was able to last year.
It was wonderful to have so many retirement communities open up this year. Many of the communities we sang at had not had any entertainment or music for over two years, and the residents were so thankful and let us know they hope we are able to come back again. It seems people are at last more willing to attend concerts in all venues without worrying about large crowds or social distancing. It has been so refreshing for things to get back to some semblance of how things were before all the shutdowns occurred. In fact, I think this year attendance at many events increased just because people were so ready to get out and be normal again.
The other thing we’ve noticed at this year’s concerts, whether it is at a retirement community, church concert, Gospel sing or benefit concert, is so many people have come to us and said they appreciate the fact that we present the Gospel and actually talk about Jesus Christ and not just about God during our presentation. We’ve been told over and over that it’s refreshing to hear someone willing to mention the name of Jesus Christ and that more people need to step up and present the Gospel like we do. It has been such an encouragement to hear those comments because that is the main goal of our ministry, and we’ve had more people approach us about it this year than ever before.
This is the time of year we do several benefit concerts. We participated in one with Don Shire and the Larry Delawder Family in August up in Wisconsin to raise money for a church in Poland that is assisting Ukrainian refugees. It was a fantastic evening, and $2400.00 was raised. We just held our 18th annual benefit for Coyote Hill Christian Children’s Home located in Harrisburg, MO. The JOY trio from Prairie Grove Baptist Church in Columbia, MO participated with us, and almost $2500.00 was raised that night.
In early October we will hold three benefit concerts for the LC Clinics in central Iowa. The first will be on October 6 at New Beginnings Open Bible Church in Stuart, IA with our special guests Sound of Inspiration. The second will be on October 9 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Creston, IA with our special guests The Loynachans. The third will be on October 10 at First Baptist Church in Atlantic, IA with our special guests Harbor Lights. We will attach posters for these concerts at the bottom of the newsletter. We are hoping to see many of you at these concerts, and we’re praying for good offerings as well.
In the midst of these concerts, on October 7 and 8, we will be part of the Midwest Southern Gospel Music Association Convention for the first time. Is is held at the Airport Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Des Moines. The admission is free for both days, with a free will offering collected. Again, a poster for this event will be at the end of this newsletter.
The last bit of news for this letter is that we will again have our New Year’s Eve sing. It will take place on Saturday, December 31 at the Church of God Holiness Family Life Center in Mexico, MO. This will be our third annual event, and we are hoping it continues to grow and take place for years to come. We will have more details in a future newsletter, but we wanted to make sure we announced it early enough that people can make their plans to attend.
We will close this newsletter by taking a moment to thank all of you who have been praying for us and Cheryl’s situation with her dad. She let him know she plans to travel more next year than she has the last two years and that he really needs to consider another option for his living situation. The ball is now in his court, as they say, so we will see what happens. Cheryl will still need to be home from time to time to take him to VA appointments, but she still plans on being on the road more than she has been. You can pray with us that her dad will make a wise decision on what to do to make the whole situation easier for all involved.
The Bible tells us to share each other’s burdens, and Cheryl has been so faithful in that for so many years. I want to thank each of you who have stepped up and will step to do that for her now. We know that loving one another enough to share those burdens is all……