So far . . .

Most of my morning was spent helping to greet people in the Europe exhibition booth, handing them a very realistic looking "passport" containing information on all the European countries, as well as prayer points for each nation. I enjoyed helping to promote the Europe field to folks passing by in the exhibition hall. Some exhibitors were having drawings for free ipods and laptops, though, so the Europe booth wasn't the most popular.

As I stood there, smiling at passerby as warmly and as "welcomingly" as I could, a white-haired man and his wife came up, "Ariel, oh my gosh, it's so good to see you!" I reacted with a hug instantly while my brain was a little late in realizing who I was greeting--Pastor Duane and Sharon Swanson!

I spent the next 45 minutes catching up with them, remininiscing about the years when they were at Pasadena AG and he was my youth pastor. We compared births, marriages, graduations, and careers of all our family members and they extended an invitation to visit the North Texas district where he is on the district staff running the children's department. I was thrilled to see them.

Afterward, I ran up to the drama rooms to see the Pasadena kids perform their drama. They did great and since I hadn't seen them perform before, I could view it with fresh eyes. People in the audience gasped when Michael threw off all the girls that were choking and beating him up, at one point in the skit. Someone said, "ouch" behind me, so I hope that the girls are used to Michael doing this in the skit and are able to "stage fall" well.

Tonight (in a few minutes actually) is the first official service of the Council, and Thomas Trask will be preaching. More later . . .

Ariel Rainey