POWER Journal Day 1

Everyone has a first day like this. Call it a theme with variations. But here is my day…

Up early, 3:30 to make it to San Diego in time for our flight. Feeling tired but excited as well. So looking forward to this trip. Drive down to San Diego with my buddy and our wives. In San Diego said goodbye to our girls with a quick prayer and a longer hug. Heading out to San Antonio, a beautiful day here. 5 hour flight travel time ahead of us, I plan on getting a bit of a nap. We are coming from all over the country in similar ways. Eleven states and thirty five different churches, what a great week we will have, seeing God work.

A small nap and a good landing, we are in San Antonio. With a good tail wind we even arrived early. Met all the Temecula guys at airport and two full vans up and heading to the Travelodge for first meeting. A lot a reunions with guys I haven’t seen in a year, already laughing and telling jokes.

First meeting, Doug Wible asked us to release all cares and issues and dedicate our week to God. We all recited together our POWER verse, Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Awesome!

We recognized first timers, twenty new first time brothers to meet (especially a whole lot of Perez brothers!) Special shout out to Dick Middlestead, oldest camper at 82, and to Christian Perez, youngest camper at 18.

Big drive ahead tonight, 5 hours to McAllen. Tomorrow an even bigger day so we will need to bond and come together quickly, Let’s listen for our van assignment and jump on board! Everyone has arrived, leaving San Antonio at 5:24. Next stop dinner at restaurant Agave Jalisco, mmmm…

Okay, after some small delays, we made it to our restaurant about 7:30, basically a half way point in the little town of West George Texas. So, just picture 80 plus bright orange shirted men descending on a little family style place, basically filling the room up. Fortunately POWER called ahead and our meals were hot and plentiful. Lots of laughter and conversations, men getting to know more about each other, making new friends and brothers in the Lord.

All fed and on the road at 8:44, next official stop Wyndham Garden Hotel in McAllen, our home for three nights.

A word about van time. Usually there will be 4-7 guys per van. Van time is our chance to build family type relationships, kind of a Band of Brothers in a Van kind of time. This first night is especially important, kind of sets the tone for the trip. As usual, POWER does not waste an opportunity the build character in our men. A facilitator is assigned to each van. His job is to draw everyone into the conversation. We each share some of our story, prayer requests and concerns. Of course, old friends reconnect and first timers are put at ease. Happening now.

And at each stop we switch up vans and riders, so by the end of the trip everyone has an opportunity to ride with and get to know every member. Building friendships, sharing jokes and laughter, or just kicking back in quiet conversation, the van ride is to me a vital piece of the POWER structure. Much more than just a ride, it is a relationship builder. Plus it’s fun to be in a caravan of a dozen white passenger vans with POWER emblems on all sides. Serious visual for a serious purpose. And altogether cool! A
And we are at the hotel, 11:30 Texas time. Drivers did a great job getting us here on a long drive. Late night crews have a little bit to do still tonight, but all in all a long, but very good day. Amen and thank you Jesus and the Holy Spirit for keeping us safe and together. Room assignments and bed as soon as late night work is finished. Early morning comes quickly, up at 6:00 for breakfast and devotions.