Pastor David’s oldest son, Walter, is spending the year traveling the country with Life Action Ministries starting revivals in churches. He occasionally sends updates back home. This is the first of those updates. Shared with permission.
Dear Friends and Family,
It’s now been a full month that I’ve been traveling with Life Action! It’s been an absolutely amazing experience and there are already so many stories to tell. God has worked in my life and all around me this past month of traveling and the month before that of training camp and it’s my privilege to tell you about it in this letter.
The adventure began at Life Action’s camp facilities where everyone traveling on the road teams receives training for the month of August. Upon arrival I was introduced to a host of new people who were all extremely friendly and excited to start a new year. Not long after greeting and finding my way to my cabin everyone reported to the Tabernacle for the first service of Seek Week. Seek Week is an annual event put on by Life Action where all of their staff and some members of the community come together and attend services with the specific intention of seeking God. This was a great way for me to continue to prepare my heart for traveling, but needless to say the schedule was filled very quickly with these services and the beginning of band training. Thankfully God used the time, busy as it was, to begin molding my heart in major ways. During Seek Week especially He revealed to me areas of pride and selfishness in my life that I hadn’t even thought a problem, by His grace He changed me, and is deepening my prayer life and desire for His Word. After Seek Week the band really switched gears and we began practicing eight hours a day. I love music, and thoroughly enjoyed practice, but after a week of playing bass guitar for 8 hours a day it was exhausting! When we did have off time the camp had plenty of other things to keep us busy. From canoeing, swimming, and volleyball to devotions, services, and prayer meetings there wasn’t any opportunity to be bored! It was truly amazing at camp to be living in a community that is in many ways similar to the early church in Acts! All the people God placed on every team were constantly encouraging and being encouraged to pursue Christ in every aspect of our lives. This encouragement became especially evident within the Red Team, which is where I was placed. On this team there are 22 people: musicians, children’s ministers, the truck driver, business manager, lead revivalist, family revivalist, and youth revivalist. During the month of training camp we spent almost all day with different parts of the team, allowing us to bond within the team very quickly. By the end of training camp we already had a strong sense of family and it grows stronger as time goes on.
Life on the Road
Training camp wrapped up at the end of August and despite the busyness it had seemed to fly by! Before we left for our first churches Life Action held a commissioning service for the road teams so that we could be prayed over and encouraged. The next morning we loaded into the semi-truck and team bus and headed off! Our first church was located in Winfield, Pennsylvania and the plan was to get there in two days taking a break in the middle to spend the night at a hotel, but apparently that wasn’t God’s plan.
I had decided to ride in the cab of the semi-truck (which pulls all the team equipment and all of our personal belongings) with two other guys on the first day. About two hours into the trip the truck was giving us trouble and refused to downshift, forcing us to pull over right before a toll station in Indiana. Thankfully God gave our driver the wisdom to pull over when he did because immediately after stopping the truck wouldn’t start again! The bus continued on but those of us in the truck called a truck repair man to come and see what the problem was. Unfortunately after waiting two hours for him to arrive we realized we had sent him to Chicago, two hours in the wrong direction. We were forced to call another repair service and fortunately he found us two hours later. When he arrived he was able to start the truck, but it couldn’t be shifted, so we had to call a tow truck. By the time it got towed into the nearest Freight Liner it was 10:30 in the evening and the three of us who had been in the truck were exhausted. Fortunately there was a nearby hotel and we were able to rest before they looked at the truck the next day. The report on the truck the following morning was that the main computer was broken and we would have to rent another truck if we were going to make it to the first summit. The only trouble with that was that our driver was very much used to an automatic transmission on the last truck and the rental was a manual transmission. It was extraordinarily stressful for the first half hour because we stalled in the road four times, it came to the point where the driver cried out “God you have to give me the grace to do this or give us another option.” God answered that prayer immediately and we didn’t have any major trouble for the rest of the trip.
We arrived at the first church and the next day unloaded the truck. The first thing we do at a summit is to take all of the children’s ministry, music, sound, and book table equipment out of the back of the truck and set it up in the church. After this is finished, we are all assigned a host home that we will spend the rest of the summit in. My first host parents were an elderly couple who had some amazing stories to tell and allowed for a wonderful experience as my first host home (sadly the picture of them is not yet present). This particular summit went for eleven days and we were able to see God move in some great ways among the people. One man in particular had been saved only a week before we arrived and during the summit he was so excited about his new faith he began giving many things to others and our ministry! On testimony night (On the second Sunday of a summit the opportunity is given for people to testify of what God has done in their life that week) the same man shared his testimony and asked if he could be baptized. Upon being asked by the pastor when he wanted to be baptized, he responded “Well, I brought swim trunks!” His zeal was a big encouragement to all of us on the team.
During a normal summit I personally have one main responsibility and then different side responsibilities, some of which change. For worship and any other section of music it’s my responsibility to play the bass guitar, outside of that I am assigned to either Happy Heart City (club for preschool through 1st grade), Base Camp (club for 2-6th grade), or Youth (7-12th grade). During the summit in Pennsylvania and the one we just finished in Chattanooga, Tennessee I had the privilege of serving in Youth and Base Camp and found out I can learn just as much from them as the kids.
We are right now traveling to Memphis, Tennessee for our first summit, please pray that God will move in the people’s hearts there and that we would arrive safely! I may also start a blog so that I can keep you updated on other things throughout the month and a link will be sent to you when it is created.
Finally if you desire to send me any mail, you can send it to: [Address redacted in online version. Contact the LRPC office for Walter’s contact information]
Thank you for all your support and prayer, I anticipate seeing you all again this December! God bless!