We made it back to the south safe and sound (well there were sounds of whining as we spent several hours in a van driving south) from good ol Fargo. I thought I would let you know how the rest of the trip went.
The blizzard let up on Wednesday morning, leaving behind another 10 inches of snow! But Fargo is so used to the powdery white stuff that they have it cleaned up in no time at all. As we walked towards the van Wednesday morning, excited to actually get out and do something, we noticed the missions pastor of the church we were staying at was across the street. And what was he doing? Digging a car out of the snow. So we headed over to help (except for cam who felt it was more important to film the event hehe). After several minutes of digging, pushing and trying to pull the car out with a truck... we got it out!! You wont find that in Kentucky. Well prob not at least.
Then we headed to the Salvation Army to serve lunch. Yes there are actually homeless people in Fargo, crazy I know! (FYI- Fargo has a very low unemployment rate, so people are actually drawn there to look for work) At the S.A. we had some great conversations with the security guard, a young graduate named Alecia, and the Kitchen supervisor Kay, who has an amazing story. I dont think Alecia is active in church, but she did tell me that she felt there weren't any churches reaching out to the younger population in the Fargo-Moorhead area. That happens to be the key focus for MissionFargo right now. Neat!
After that we headed over to the Fisher household and packed up lots of books (and took in some HGTV). Then we went to a coffee house called the Red Raven. It was a pretty neat place. It was in a basement and had a random used book store in the middle of it (which had great prices- i got a sociology book for dirt cheap!) and a larger open room in the back where they have bands play. There was no one there when we got there, dead as a doorknob (what does that even mean?). We got to talk to the owner for a few minutes, other that that it was pretty uneventful.
So we headed back to the church for a special missions dinner, where Jeremy and all of us got a chance to speak before the church. Jeremy got to share about MissionFargo and why they brought us up, our students shared about what God was teaching them and what the trip had meant to them, and I shared about campus ministry at large (they have no BCM's up there). It was a neat time. Hearing the passion and surrender our students have to the Lord was just a sweet time of challenge for me.
And the fun started after that. At this point I need to mention that I would be driving 11 hours the next day. Did I jump in bed to get some rest to be ready to drive? Heck No. I went to yet another coffeehouse... hehe. We decided to split up and study the night life. Jennifer and I went to a newer coffeehouse in town called Fargo Coffee Company, which is the only place open 24 hours a day. Jeremy, Randall and Cam went back to the Red Raven.
Jen and I had an amazing time! The place was pretty slow when we got there, just a few groups of guys. We went up to the counter to order- and met Mike. He is a younger guy who has lived in the same house in Fargo his whole life. He of course recognized our accents and asked us where we were from and why the heck we were in Fargo. We got to talk about MissionFargo and their desire to start a church for the younger population in the area. Mike thought that was a great idea and asked us what kind of church it would be. When I said Baptist he specifically asked if it would be Southern Baptist. And when I answered yes, he made the remark that that was the good kind. Hehe, I found it hilarious. Fargo has a large fundamentalist Baptist church that is all about pulling away from the culture, not reaching it. Anyhow, Mike began to tell us that he had grown up in the church and had gone to seminary for a short time, but it wasnt for him. He hadnt been to church in several months, mainly because he had gotten lazy. Then he actually gave me his info (without me asking) and said that he would love to meet with John or Jeremy and learn more. Awesome!
Then Jennifer and I finally took our Wizzle Mizzles (white mochas) and sat down. At the table next to us there were two guys talking. I noticed one had a mac (yes i am kindof getting obsessed with them). As we sat and read or journaled... well Jen wrote and I pretended to read, we realized that these guys were talking about Jesus. Jen mouthed to me that we had to talk to them... several minutes later she told me that she would follow if I talked to them. Hehe. So I noticed that one of them had a youth speciality bookbag. I should mention that I prob listened to these guys convo for 15 minutes straight, and they were talking about everything under the sun. Anyhow, I finally said "Is that a youth specialities bookbag?" And they didnt hear me. But the table next to me did and gave me a weird look. Ok so if at first you dont succeed, try again. So a little louder, I said the same thing a second time. And this time he heard me.
Turns out he had been a youth minister in the area for several years at the Evangelical Free church (the closest thing to a Southern Baptist up there). We moved to his table and Jen and I spent the next hour talking to Josh about Fargo and ministry and life. It was pretty neat, bc he had just gone thru what Justin and I had gone thru at Crossland over a year ago.
So then Jeremy, Randall and Cam showed up and told us about their culture shocking night of comedy at the Red Raven. By the time we got home it was 1 something in the morning and we were all wired. But the Lord provided rest and we were able to safely make it the 11 hours the next day.
It was a neat trip. different than any other mission trip I had been on. It was about living normal life, but taking the time to notice the people around you and really listen to the Lords leading. It challenged me to remember that I can do this everyday. I practically live at Starbucks!
So I challenge you reader- to be "strategic" as Jeremy and John like to say, or just intentional in how you live life. Have a routine, but notice other people that are in the same routine. Talk to the people around you. Hear their story. Dont be to busy in your own life to let God use you in someone else's.