Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Coolest Thing I've Ever Seen

Last Thursday something happened here at Grace Church and Lititz Christian School that I have to say was one of the classiest and coolest things I have ever seen. A very special lady, Betsy Echternach, is the computer teacher here at Lititz Christian School. She and her family also faithfully attend Grace Church where Betsy serves as a volunteer as one of our media techs on Sunday mornings. Recently, Betsy was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma and she has now started her treatments as she battles this serious disease.

Last Thursday was Betsy’s 42nd birthday. She lives just over the hill from the church on the far end of the soccer field. Friends of Betsy had already put on the miner’s type lighted hats and, under the cover of the night’s darkness, spray painted a special “Happy Birthday” message to her on the hillside facing the back of her house.

Later that morning, as the rain started to move in, the entire ministry, including our entire staff along with all of our students from the daycare through our High School seniors, paraded to the far end of the soccer field and down the hill into Betsy’s backyard. Betsy was brought out on to her back deck (pictured above standing with her mom) where she was greeted with over 400 students and staff singing “Happy Birthday, Mrs. Echternach.” When they had finished, the Senior High choir moved to the front of the crowd where they sang a very beautiful and special blessing to her with the words, “The Lord be gracious to you.”

It was so obvious how special this was for Betsy. They gave Betsy a megaphone where she thanked the group from the bottom of her heart. She told the student body how much she misses being at school each day and how she sits from her house and watches them run during soccer and track practice. She then showed her wonderful spirit and sense of humor by adding, “But you’re not running fast enough.” Yes, it was a very special few moments for Betsy, but as the Senior Pastor over all of our ministries, my heart overflowed all day long as a result. What a joy it is to be part of not only Grace Church, but also Morningstar Daycare and Lititz Christian School. I can only echo the words from, my blog entry last Thursday…I LOVE THIS PLACE! To see a video of everyone singing in Betsy' s back yard on her birthday go to http://www.gracechurchworship.org/parade.html

And speaking of Lititz Christian School, last week they pulled off an amazing feat as we hosted the District V Regional Chorus here at Grace Church and Lititz Christian. Folks, listen, this was not an easy endeavor. We brought in twice as many High School chorus students from all over the region than we have students in our entire High School student body. Yet, we not only pulled it off, we pulled it off with excellence. The dozens and dozens of directors that were here with their students couldn’t stop talking about how organized and wonderful things were and how amazed they were that a school our size could host such a large and prestigious event.

That’s one of the things I love about this place. We dream big. We see the size of our God rather than the size of the Goliath’s that we face. And we should. After all, in the words of D.L. Moody, “If God be your partner, make your plans large!”

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