Week 4 – CityReach in Wisconsin

On September 4, 2015 by Eric

Our summer has wrapped up by now, but that doesn’t mean we have slowed down any! We’re finally home for long enough to feel like we can catch our breath, which means we have the time to complete our week-by-week overview of our summer of ministry.

What that.. on to week four!

Serving by serving, not leading

Our fourth week was a little different than normal. We actually were the ones going on the mission trip instead of leading it!

We were so so so excited to be able to return to the States for a week and attend CityReach, a week-long missions experience that we have been a part of off and on for several years now. Since we started full time with PPM, Bethany and I haven’t been able to attend because of our busy travel season each summer. This year, we made it a point to schedule out several months in advance to make this trip happen over a year in advance to make this trip happen.. and man, we are glad that we did.

CityReach calls itself “rocket fuel for church plants,” and focuses on doing outreach by ministering to the community in the name of a new church plant. We were partnering with North City Church in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.  It was an awesome week, being led in service by Pastors Chris Bocklage and Joe Copeland and supporting their heart and vision for their community.

The ministries during the week range from X-Camps, which are free camps of all kinds for kids in the community–art camp, LEGO camp, sports camp, etc–to free car wash, service projects, door to door outreach, and other “random acts of kindness” style ministries.

Totally free car wash

The ministry track we always serve in, since year 1, is totally free car wash. It’s an interesting concept.. set up a car wash like you’re raising money for something, but advertise as totally free. People pull in to get their car washed and, without fail, ask us what we’re raising money for. That’s when we take the time to explain that we really aren’t raising any money, and we won’t accept any donations.. we just want to serve the community and share the love of Christ by washing their car.

Though we were primarily involved in free car wash, because of some rainy weather we got the chance to participate in LEGO camp on Monday. Bethany worked all morning with a little guy named Trevor, who was the best kid ever. Being very introverted, he struggled to connect socially with the other kids. So we got to sit with him and be his team. It was so much fun creating things together as a team and remembering just how fun it is to just sit and create something with someone else.

Friends together again

For me, the best part about CityReach was reunited relationships. There’s a handful of people we love to hang out with in life that we really don’t get to see very often, and we had an opportunity to spend a chunk of time with a few of those people this week. (Yoho, JJ, Nate.. you know I’m talking about you.)

Along with just getting to hang out old friends, I got to do something else I haven’t done in a long while.. lead worship with Matt Miller and Dakota Tuggle.

Matt and I used to play music together quite a bit, but in the last several years our paths have certainly parted ways. We started doing the math, and realized we hadn’t let worship together since CityReach 2012 in Toronto! Incredibly, when we plugged in to practice before the first set, it felt as solid as ever.

Life has, of course, carried on in a lot of ways since the last time we got to see Matt and Sarah, which you can see in the gallery below.. there’s kids involved now! It was such a blast to see Edison and Maisy play together. It makes us realize that Edison needs more friends!

Break from the routine

Overall, serving at CityReach this summer was a huge blessing. It was relaxing, in a way, for us to have an opportunity to not really be in charge of anything. So nice to just show up ready to serve and help out where needed. We also learned that Madison is a beautiful city full of some really great people, and we know that Chris and Joe are going to do a fantastic job as they continue to disciple and grow the church plant in Sun Prairie.

Stay tuned for updates on the rest of the summer. In the mean time, enjoy a few pics from CityReach:

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