Wednesday, I finally made it to Stillman Valley. Because of some scheduling changes with a host church, this stop on the tour wound up being a bit of a Sabbath stop for the team. Those who had been on the road since the beginning hit their 6 week mark and there were a few of them had been on the road for about 5 weeks. For myself and another band, No Lost Cause, it was the beginning of our journey. We were able to meet the team, get settled in and have orientation without too many things on our plate.
It turned out to be pretty sweet. When I got there some of the guys were staining a play structure behind the church. Over the course of the last day, I watched these guys give of their time and skills to this church with out complaint or reservations. Decks were fixed. A kids room was painted. And in the afternoon yesterday people went out to local spots just to meet people and love on the community in any way they could.
I am sure I’ll be sharing about our team over the weeks. But a definite highlight was meeting Jamie her husband Scott and their three beautiful children, Austin, Ben and Norah. We shared living quarters on Wednesday night since I’m the only girl on this leg and all the guys were just crashing together in the church basement. They are a really cool family from Jersey. Jamie and I clicked right away, maybe it’s a woman thing lol and the kids and I are pretty much bffls.
I have enjoyed spending time with them, hearing more about their journeys as individuals, as a family and as a band. God has been faithful to them. It is more than evident. I love their willingness to take the risk and take their kids on the road with them. I am glad that starting a few days early allows me to spend more time with them. Jamie and I have already bonded over our love to serve through food. We tag teamed on Wednesday's dinner and pancakes for breakfast yesterday morning. I sense there will a lot of cooking in my future and I don’t mind one bit.
After dinner we had a team meeting. It was just a time of reflection and sharing. It kind of felt like we were in small group together. While we were waiting for the rest of the group to come, I sat down bend the church’s piano to sing a song and Cameron of We Are One picked up his guitar and joined in. We had a really sweet time in worship. Not just singing songs but welcoming God inout midsts and inviting the Holy Spirit to move. We also prayed for and sang over the city and surrounding area.
Stillman Valley and the surrounding area was described to us by locals as spiritually heavy. My Uber driver told me about drug problems and the struggles of blue collar living in the area. As we prayed and sang over this town, I was reminded of God's love. There is a hope and a future for Rockford, Byron, and Stillman Valley. It may seem dry, things may seem dead but He has a plan. They have not been overlooked or forgotten by their Maker. Dry bones will rise, new life will spring up, and Hope has come.