Today was the last day of this year’s NOMADS annual meeting. On the agenda was Bible Study, sing-along, worship and a continuation of the board meeting in which the gavel was passed to the new chairperson of the board and the new board members were introduced. For some reason the outgoing chair could not get the smile off his face. Training today included classes on giving devotions, converting a regular bathtub to a walk-in tub, RV solar power, line dancing, first aid and “Women and Tools”.
We ended the day with a catered dinner and entertainment by “Natural High” a local singing group that included some of the members that sang on Monday night.
Then came the sad task of saying “see you down the road” to friends we may not see again until next year. It has been a fun and busy week and we are looking forward to going back to work on a project to get some rest. Please pray for safe travels for the NOMADS this weekend.
We have been blessed with nice weather for this annual meeting. Last year we had a lot of rain which tends to make for muddy RV sites and problems pulling out on the last day. Looks like we will avoid those problems this year.
Today we started with our usual energetic morning music/singing time, announcements, and then a devotion by a young really energetic pastor from a church about 7 miles from the campground. She challenged us to develop new ways to share our faith and reach others. She presented some good ideas we will be thinking about and considering. She really encouraged us to tell our stories in new ways. Good message.
We then had another business meeting and more reports for the membership. After that educational seminars began. We skipped two of today’s classes to spend more time in preparation for our seminar on First Aid tomorrow afternoon. We did go to the DR Leader training class. Tonight we had another pot luck and a great choir concert. It was a fun, busy and tiring day. But it was a good day!
Forgot to mention yesterday that while we were on the tour of the dairy with several other NOMADS, the ones who stayed back and assembling food kits for MMDC put together 1,920 food kits that will feed 11, 520 people. Extravagantly generous with their time.
Today was love auction day. After our morning Bible study, devotion and meetings the silent auction opened. Then at 3:00 pm the live auction began. Such a fun time! Crazy things happen at our love actions. Two watermelons were sold for $500 – each. A magnifying glass sold for over $700. One quilt sold for over $1,000. A love, or charity, auction is not a place to look for bargains. The bidders go into the auction having decided how much they want to give to the organization and have fun with it. Even though our attendance is down this year the auctions raised over $30,000. Extravagantly generous giving. In case you’re wondering, the money raised by the auction goes to help the agencies where we volunteer pay for materials and other expenses associated with our projects.
It was another beautiful day in Illinois out here among the corn and soy bean fields. We start every day with a Bible study, a morning social time, some singing and a devotion. Today we also had our friend from Midwest Mission Distribution Center come talk to the membership about their mission work. Chantel the Executive director did a great job sharing MMDC’s story and mission.
The rest of the day there were several options such as a tour of a dairy, work to get ready for the auction tomorrow, pack food bags for MMDC or a few other things. We spent part of the day going to Fair Oaks Farm‘s “Dairy Adventure”, then returned to do some work. The dairy was of interest to us since Max worked at the family dairy growing up and we thought some of the family back home would be interested in seeing the pictures. This was a huge operation, milking 350,000 gallons of milk per day. In the barn we visited they milked approx 2800 cows three times a day and they have 11 barns. The milking parlor used a 78 cow carousel taking 6 minutes to milk each cow. Amazing to those of us who grew up on farms.
Tonight we had a chili contest. We didn’t enter our chili which was a good thing because Max was asked to be one of the judges. It was a fun night with lots of good food followed by a concert by a quartet that is part of the “Country Theater Workshop Group.” They were very good and everyone seemed to really enjoy the evening. Another busy, fun day.
The rain came in as expected this morning but cleared as the day went one. It really didn’t interfere with anything. We started the day with a morning gathering time at 8:00 as all the NOMADS gathered for the first time. We then had a worship service with communion. After lunch there was new team leader training, experienced leader training, dinner with our new NOMADS, alumni (members no longer working projects), and the Board. Next was a meeting with the auction committee and then our evening worship and memorial service/time of remembering the 21 NOMADS who died since our last meeting. It was a busy day but it was so great to see so many friends. Some people we haven’t seen since last annual meeting. We also got to meet so many new NOMADS. It was great. The rest of the week will be busy too but it will all be good.
Yesterday was a busy day for us both. It was a cooler and much more pleasant day with lower humidity. Anne was in Board meeting from 9:00-5:00 and Max was helping people get their RV’s parked. By evening we were both tired but still enjoyed the cool evening temperature for really nice walking.
Today was another beautiful sunny and not so hot day. We were up early and got to experience a beautiful sunrise on this morning’s walk. We then drove to Indiana for the celebration of life of our dear NOMADS friend Mary Alice Collins. Those of you that have been following our blog since the early days of our NOMADS work will remember her as the lady who lost both her feet and all her fingers on both hands after a horrible episode of sepsis. That was 4 years ago. She subsequently was able to learn to use prosthetic legs and aids for her hands so that she could continue to make her award winning pies and cakes. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 3 years ago and as with the sepsis she fought a good fight. She continued to share her love of her Savior, her love of her family and her love for everyone she met. When she asked you how you were doing you knew she really cared how you were doing. She continued to always have a smile on her face. We were able to spend some time with her husband and children today. We laughed, we cried a little and celebrated her life well lived. Rest in Peace, dear friend. We know you are celebrating in heaven. As her son Kurt told us, God must have wanted some pie. Kurt recommended He try the caramel.
Our first full day in Illinois was spent preparing for the annual meeting. We had to make a grocery store run so we stopped and had breakfast at Steak and Shake. Of course we had a milk shake. We are old. We can have milk shakes for breakfast. The rest of the day was spent helping get registration materials ready (Anne), parking RV’s (Max) and meeting with the Executive Committee of the board in preparation for tomorrow’s full board meeting. The rest of the day was spent with greetings and hugs as we became reunited with friends we haven’t seen in a while. Tomorrow will probably be more of the same. We are hoping for cooler temperatures.