I managed to begin my Spring tour in one of the worse cold snaps in quite some time. The news this morning predicted that up to 75% of the citrus crop has been destroyed over the last couple of days as night time temperatures have plunged to around zero.
I arrived here Saturday afternoon after flying into Ontario, CA, a community right outside LA. My flight was delayed for some time in Phoenix so I drove in the dark out to Rosamond, CA, the first stop on my Spring speaking tour.
I've enjoyed a warm reception from the folks at Wayside Chapel in Rosamond, CA. Situated right next to Edwards Air Force base the city is home to huge numbers of military personnel and aerospace professionals. After teaching in Sunday School and speaking at the morning worship service I had the privilege of having lunch with one of the men who worked on the avionics package for the F-22 Raptor, the most recent entry into the US air arsenal.
Last night I spoke again at a potluck dinner and then this morning at a Women's Bible Study. The ladies were largely older, and largely the wives of men who worked in the aerospace industry. It was fascinating listening to them talk about the aircraft that they or their husbands have worked on over the years. One woman remembered quite vividly when "Captain Yeager" broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947. It was fun to hear about some of the milestones in their lives.
We've been able to celebrate together some of the milestones in Kosovo as well. We've been celebrating the visit that a few of the men from this church made to Kosovo a couple of years ago. That visit caused on of those men to pursue the "ministerial studies program" in the CMA and has bitten the pastor with a bug for Kosovo that won't let go.
Yesterday I spent lunch and several hours with a family who are committed to missions and feel a strong sense of calling to work in Kosovo, serving the Lord however they might.
This church has a heart for Kosovo, largely driven by the vision of its pastor. They want to come back and pursue a more intentional partnership with our team and our field. I think as pastors in the Alliance continue to visit Alliance fields and connect with Alliance missions they can't help but feel part of something greater than themselves. Honestly, I feel the same way as I visit Alliance churches around the country. I too am part of something far greater than just ministry in Kosovo. And, in truth, the CMA itself is just a small player in God's larger redemptive agenda for the world.
So far, cold weather, warm hearts and the celebration of important milestones have been hallmarks of this trip. God's at work among his people!