Forming a people through Christ to glorify him everywhere...has been Blanchard Alliance Church’s Mission Statement for as long as I can remember…

–formed by many faithful people over the years I’ve spent time with at the precious church I love so much.  And I would argue  that it’s exactly because of all those years of faithful equipping and investing that have made me the follower of Jesus I am today–dealing with a brain tumor and rehab how the godly, patient people of Blanchard have taught me to deal with life’s troubles over the years. This is clearly not the first time something tragic has happened to one of our own! Just eight years ago we praised the presence of Jesus in my sister Beth when she so unexpectedly passed away in Indonesia  on the very same summer my family was on the way to begin our missionary career in Cambodia.

It’s one of the greatest reasons to be a part of a church like Blanchard– a dynamic community of God’s people committed to equipping parents to “train up their children in the way they should go”. Is there a higher, more privileged calling?  See my old post called”The Everton Way”// for some other challenging perspectives on the high priority of working with kids from the world of English Premier League soccer of all places…http: This is what we all want for Blanchard isn’t it?

As I think about Blanchard’s role in my own life, it inspires me to want to look around and help another “Blanchard kid” like me…And, as many of you know, I have a long history at Blanchard Alliance Church.  I first started attending Blanchard back in the 70’s when the southwest side of our parking lot was still that old apple orchard (fun to play in as a kid during picnics, I still remember the slippery, rotten,  apples crunching under my tennies as I ran under the trees with friends (…and the bees eating the apples…not so fun…  The Church Offic was that ramshackle blue house next to Naperville Road.  And, speaking of bad parking lots–how about that awful chalky gravel base that used to destroy the old foyer carpet on rainy Sundays? I was also here for a brief spell in the 80’s when there were four of us in the church youth group –Cari and Jenni Camp, Rob Vischer and me along with  Lee and Maureen Nanfelt (and their  cute, little Nathan)  So let’s all look around at the next”Blanchard kid” God is preparing right in front of us–maybe one of  those precious Anliker boys or the Giddings , how about Eli, or his sister, Ruby? How about the Brumbach clan or the Ebels? (This list could go on forever… ? Maybe Eric Westergren and Sarah Cairncross-two of our own missionary kids -just about ready to get married in a few weeks?

So can you consider taking on a “Blanchard kid” yourself?–it doesn’t take much– just a little intention, attention, kindness and prayer…

like I’ve said, you never know how God’s going  to use it someday to build His Church.  For instance, just this week  Amy O’Brien, the children’s ministries director at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Warrenville kindly stopped by my house to take all 3 of my sweet girls out for a simple ice cream run–how lovely and kind and intentional–one of the many kindnesses being shown to my family these days, between fresh, delicious meals being delivered at dinnertime and lovely cards delivered almost daily to my hospital room here at Marionjoy.