Thursday was considered as one of the best day of our lives for many of us. After going to the Powerplant Conference sessions on church planting, Thursday was going to be a strategy project to bring it all together. Since we knew the conference speakers well, I passed it by them and decided to do our own optional church planting strategy project at our hotel. So we slept a little later than normal, we ate a little breakfast, and about 10 of our students decided to take on this project as a challenge. I briefly walked them through my understanding of church planting, and then explained their project. By the way, the rest either just slept in or took the morning easy. The project was to define a biblical local church, identify who is truly a part of a local church, explain the purpose of their proposed church to plant, develop a mission statement for their church plant, and design a strategy for their proposed church plant. Their strategy was to include in what city their church would be, where their church would meet for worship, who would be the leaders of the church, who else would be on their planting team, what ministries would be within their church, what their church would be like culturally, etc. I was impressed. They did a great job working in teams of 3 to complete this project. I would so be a member in their churches.
At about 11am, we all took off for Sally’s. Sally’s one of our highlights for the whole week. This wonderful woman was the best cook all week long. She basically made us homemade Mexican food for lunch almost every day. So we ate over there, and then headed back over to Montevalle Park for our last day of the Olympics. The church plants wanted a huge draw for the last day, so Thursday was “Water Games” day. All 130 kids were split up into 7 teams who competed against each other in these water games. Each time also had 20 minutes to do an ice breaker. The ice breaker during this day was walking them through a wordless bracelet where I got to share the gospel of Christ with all 130 kids. It was truly one of the top 3 days of my life. I’ve never gotten to share the full gospel with over a hundred people 7 times over the course of 3 hours. Yeah, I literally told the most incredible story to kids for 3 hours straight. It was a dream come true! After the 1:30 – 4:30pm Olympic Event ministry, the church plants threw a huge block party for all the community families to join in for a cookout, cotton candy, snow cones, and Olympic Awards Ceremony. That was one last opportunity to invite the community to their churches.
We then took off from the park and went straight to Petco Park which is where the San Diego Padres play. During our flight way out to San Diego on Saturday, two of our girls were talking to a man on the flight who ended up inviting us to a Padres game for free. He ended up giving us all $50 tickets on the 9th row right behind first base. While we were in our seats, he sent down one of this guys with a Padres hat for us all. Then a few minutes later, he came down with the President of the Padres. So we got to meet him, and he gave us 9 complimentary tickets to seats two rows and four rows behind home plate at $335 each. So we took 3 rotations and everyone got to enjoy the game from behind home plate in soft, vinyl seats with free all you can eat food. In fact, I was in the second rotation who had to reenter the VIP section with these already used tickets from our first rotation. The concierge would not let us in, so I literally had to call our friend who put me on the phone with the Padres President, he came down, and told the concierge that we were his personal friends and we were allowed to transfer our tickets and enjoy the game. It was quite and experience, and over all, one of the best days of our lives! We then got home at about 11pm, crashed, and slept well till the next morning.