At four o’clock in the morning, the quiet of Brantford’s outskirts was broken as a half dozen cars pulled into the parking lot of Living Water Reformed Church. The fourteen members of the 2012 Mission Trip to Philadelphia had gathered together. After a few false starts the whole team was packed with their luggage into the Excursion and Mark’s minivan. By four thirty-five we had pulled onto the road and were on the way.
We arrived at the border crossing in Lewiston, New York at five thirty. An hour later we had passed the scrutiny of the security guard and answered his questions. We were official on the way to Philadelphia. The sun had risen by that time and we began to admire the scenery.
At eight o’clock we stopped at Timmie’s because we are Canadian. And what better way to start our trip than to say a fond farewell to the great Canadian coffee shop?
The roads were clear until we hit the I-81. There we ran into construction. By then we were all ready for lunch so after a quick stop for gas we found a subway and ordered subs to fill our now growling stomachs. Back on the road we continued to fight traffic. At the I-276 traffic cleared and we barreled on.
But by then we were behind by at least an hour or more. That didn’t bother us though. It had reached thirty-five degrees Celsius outside and the blacktop was steaming. We didn’t mind staying in the nice air conditioned vehicles.
Although we were packed in tight, the trip was enjoyable. We slept, listened to music, slept, played games, ate candy, listened to more music, ate more candy and then slept again. Yes, there was lot of sleeping for some people.
Four o’clock rolled around and we pulled into the parking lot of Calvary Church, our sleeping quarters for the week. There were four rooms available for us and after a quick tour we swiftly divided ourselves into the rooms. It took a bit to fit everyone’s beds in, but finally we managed.
Just before five we gathered in our ‘dining room’ to begin our week with some house rules and some instruction into what we were going to do. Martin Van Noort opened with Psalm 100 and Mark prayed, thanking God for giving us a safe trip and asking for a good time in the city. We sang for awhile and then Pastor Snodgrass and his wife Niessa arrived with our supper for the evening.
But before we could eat we needed to go tour the church we would be fixing up. Grace Fellowship Church is located in the heart of Germantown. A two storey building nestled in amongst the shops, the church is small. The basement has a lot of mold from water damage last fall. The stone walls are crumbling in places and huge chunks have fallen to the floor in other places.
The fellowship hall/sanctuary is nicely sized for the small congregation that gathers there faithfully every Sunday. About fifteen to twenty people attend the morning service with about ten for the evening.
The upstairs of the church will need some painting and repair work. A leaky roof has caused more water damage and some of the boys will be going up high to fix it later this week. The whole church has a distinct musty smell which we hope to remove with some hard cleaning. With the water damage the whole area suffered last fall, it is a blessing that the church wasn’t severely damaged.
After a good night’s sleep we hope to join Pastor Bill Snodgrass and his congregation for their worship services tomorrow.
Quotes of the Day:
Lisa: Are we there yet?
Mark: Yes, Lisa, we just past Knors.
Heather: Can we just stumble in here tomorrow and eat breakfast and then stumble back to get dressed?
Martin: I think you need to reverse that order.