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Sunday July 10
Another day with rain all over the forecast, and another day of God giving us abundant sunshine. As I sit here this morning the rain is falling, but I cannot be more grateful that the Lord cleared the sky for us yesterday.
The day began EARLY as we reported to Richmond Hill Baptist Church at 6:30 to help set up for their annual Stampede Pancake Breakfast. Churches and organizations all over the city host free breakfasts all week long during Stampede. For churches this is a wonderful way to connect with their communities and do some outreach. The students help put the setup an hour ahead of their normal schedule. I was so pleased with their efforts to pitch in and help wherever they could. During the breakfast different groups from the church and community performed while people ate. The Chapel Singers were able to sing a small set during this time.
As the event moved to worship we began with a Call to Worship, joined their praise team in some gospel favorites and then sang an offertory. The students were so focused, and ready to lead the several hundred that showed up that morning. We then were blessed to hear the testimony of a Canadian Olympic Bobsledder. We helped clean up and then returned to the dorms for a bit of rest. It was a wonderful morning.
After some rest we took in a bit of Calgary culture. The National Music Centre is the cities newest museum. It has only been open since July 1. It is five stories of wonder for me. It included interactive elements. It celebrated music and musicians from Canada. It was very impressive.
For some local fare we went to the home of spicy ginger beef – The Silver Dragon – for dinner. We ordered several dishes for each table to enjoy family style. If the kids went hungry they just weren’t trying hard enough. It was a great experience. We were able to share our devotional in the restaurant. Great witness by these kids.
Then on to the STAMPEDE! They call it the greatest outdoor show on earth, and let me just tell you it was overwhelming. The size and scope of the Calgary Stampede is on a scale that is hard to describe. We didn’t get to experience a fraction of the event. We came for the evening show. It began with chuck wagon races. So cool to see a team of horses pulling a wagon a full speed around a race track.
The big event was after the races. The evening show featured hundreds of performers which included acrobats, tight rope walker (it was actually the guy from the movie “The Walk”), trampoline acts, singers, dancers, motorcycle stunts, fire, water, flying drummers, flying pianos, and FIREWORKS. Let me just say that after seeing that show Christmas at First may take on a whole new look. Just consider a flying organist….it could happen.
It was a wonderful way to end our first full day that began with such great worship. This morning we begin our mission work at Camp Gardner. Pray the rain subsides, and that we are able do some great work. God is so good, may we be a better reflection of him every day.