The weekend is nearly here, and for me, this one has been a long time coming! In January, I began training for a marathon-distance run in order to raise funds for my family and I to participate in a short-term mission trip to Honduras. The mission trip has grown, and several other families from our church are also going to spend a week in Honduras, meeting hundreds of children in multiple villages through planned outreach events. We are excited about the upcoming mission trip, and I’m excited that my training has come to an end! “Mission: Run” takes place this Saturday, and I will run from the city limits of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, to the parking lot of Liberty Hill Church. I plan to be on the road by 8:00 AM, and will run alongside Highway 60 until I get to Highway F near Dexter. The distance will be slightly more than 26 miles, and this will be my first run ever of this distance. Before January, I believe my longest run was about 6 miles, so these past several weeks have been a very different change of pace for me (pun intended). The training has gone well, but a medical issue led my Doctor to suspend me from any exercise or running for one week while I underwent some tests. I received the all-clear, and resumed my training these past two weeks. I may finish a little slower than I originally planned, but I am ready to go!

Allen and Karen Hughes – our mission trip leaders – have also organized a Mission:Run party to be held Saturday at Liberty Hill. There will be hamburgers, hot dogs, a bounce-house for the kids, and lots of activities to keep folks entertained while I head their way. There will even be a beautiful homemade quilt that will be raffled away, courtesy of our Women in Missions group. All funds raised on Saturday will go toward our families serving on the upcoming Honduras trip. The activities will begin at 11:00 AM, and I hope to crash the party shortly after 12:30 PM.

When Sunday rolls around, we’ll be ready to worship! Pastor Phil will be continuing our new series of “Beyond Doubt” by addressing a question that demands our attention: “Is Hell real?” While we may not like thinking about the possibilities of Hell, if we are willing to believe in Heaven then we have to also consider the alternative. Join us at 10:30 AM and consider what the Bible has to say about eternal destinations!

Whatever your weekend plans may be, we hope you have a blessed one, and that somewhere along the way you get to experience God in a great way!

Grace Received,                                                                                         Pastor Joe