Written by cycleguy on June 17th, 2019

If you read my post June 16-Weekend Extra from my other blog, you will know the general basis for this post.  Saturday afternoon and evening we had storms rumble through our area. Okay so they did more than just rumble. Some touched down. Yeah, we were “blessed” with the presence of tornadoes. The town proper of Spencer was spared but some of the outlying areas were not so fortunate. A little town a few miles southwest of Spencer called Freedom had a tornado touch down but fortunately it was not deadly. Downed power lines and mangled trees was about all I think. Several others touched down as well. One did some major damage to some barns and houses and a power substation (REMC). The substation which supplies power to the church building. Our house provider is Duke Energy and they had our power back on around 3:00 am Sunday morning.

The church building was another story. When I got there yesterday (Sunday) at 3:45 it was pitch black. I am writing this at 5:25 am on Monday and as far as I know it it is still pitch black. I’m at home so I have power. I’ll check it when I am done working on my sermon. But my purpose of this post is to tell you about our Sunday worship.

OVCF and its leaders have always “prided” themselves in their ability to adapt. Now, as I say that, I am not referring to the attractional church idea of adapting to culture. We have tried to stay “fluid” in our thinking about ways to do things. That was on full display yesterday. I contacted a few folks (Youth pastor, secretary, and Worship Team leaders) and told them about not having any power and can we do an Unplugged service. EVERYTHING, and I mean everything, was unplugged. No lights. No A/C. No plugged in instruments. No cordless mic to speak with. No fans. Well…you get the idea. Diana, the church secretary, sent out a mass email and posted it on the church’s FB page about the time change: one service at 10:45 instead of two (9 and 10:45). Then we waited and wondered if anyone would show up. Over 100 people showed up! Some had lost power for a short period of time. Some had lost it for most of the night. Some still had none. But they came.  We opened blinds for light. The front doors were left open. We put some lanterns in the bathrooms. We did the same in the children’s wing. Those teachers and kids were troopers. We sang. We had communion. We gave. I preached (the weak link in the whole morning). We prayed. We laughed (especially when someone’s phone went off with an emergency signal for flash flooding).  I referenced believers in other countries who meet like this every week due to economics or due to government interference.

It was a good day. I was proud of the folks who make up OVCF. I am honored to be their pastor.  I thank them for their willingness to adapt (in a good way). And I thank God for showing us we don’t bells and whistles to worship Him. All we need are hearts open to Him and willing to meet Him anywhere, anytime, and in any circumstance.


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. What an outstanding, go-with-the-flow church family you have, Bill! So thankful the tornadoes didn’t do more damage than they did, and you all were able to gather for worship as planned, power or no power. Great testimony to flexibility.

  2. Betty Draper says:

    Bill, you all just experienced a jungle church. If they can hack that after being use to all the abundance one can think of, they can take a trip to visit a missionary overseas. All God requires is His Spirit living in us and adaptability. You have a right to be proud of your church folks, tornadoes kill people. I think of the last church services we attended in the jungle. It was in the village our daughter and family were in. Women on one side, men on the other, children and dogs and pigs running around. hard rough backless benches, no fans, no electricity, but when the preaching started I could not under stand it but I got holy cold chills watching the faces of the believers as the truth of God’s Word hit their hearts. I could almost feel the battle of the enemy wanting to disrupt the flow of the Spirit working. Never have I seen the battle so clear. In the US the enemy just lets the weather discouraged us from attending church but in remote village it can be rocks through by the witch doctor trying to disrupt, unbelievers, yelling scaring old beliefs at the believer of what the spirits are going to do to them, stop their gardens from growing, kill their children, make them sick, etc. Not one believer left that day…not one. Praise God no one was killed from your church, it’s still standing but even if it wasn’t I think from what you write about the congregation there, they would be there to put it back to gether board by board. Great encouraging story brother. Someday when we come to Ky. Ace and I are going to visit you and hear you preach.

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks for the interesting note Betty. We were fortunate in that the tornado did not come real close although in my mind anywhere close is close enough. i would love to meet you and Ace some day. I hope God makes that happen. Just please all ahead so I am sure to be here. I take off every once in a while so the youth pastor can preach (and I need a break). 🙂

  3. floyd says:

    Sometimes in times of distress we find beautiful things. It can bring out the best folks.

    Good for you! What a blessed day despite the circumstances!

  4. Pam says:

    Amazing how God can equip us in the face of adversity if we are just willing. OVCF witnessed to His steadfastness by being steadfast themselves. Great to hear!
    Praying all has returned to normal now!

    • cycleguy says:

      You are right Pam. God can equip us to face adversity. I know He did in our case. I’d say it is returning to normal…as normal as it can be with me. 🙂