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“Training Camp 4"

By Pastor Joe

"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.” 1 Timothy 4:8-10. NLT I'm going to leave this verse at the top of the article. This has always been one of my favorite verses even before thinking about this new set of articles relating to training camp. I've had a number of great counselors and teachers, individuals who have helped me to grow in my spiritual life, and all of them have said just about same thing about a very critical part of training: keep the word of God before you on a regular basis. With repetition over the next number of weeks all of us should begin to embrace this passage into our long-term thinking.

Back in 2018 we spent five days at Love Packages replacing windows, sorting through Christian literature, and doing various small projects to help fulfill the ongoing purpose of this great ministry. Steve Schmidt, his entire paid staff, local helpers, thousands of volunteers who come yearly, work tremendously hard six days a week to sort and verify thousands of pieces of Christian literature that will be packed into the ocean-going containers to ultimately be shipped all over the world. This process of packing containers is the ultimate logistics function of a ministry that has an ultimate eternal purpose to see people come into the Kingdom of God. Currently, in 2021, they are way ahead on reaching their logistic goal of sending out more than 100 containers. The following detail is one of the most important logistic and eternal steps: after the back doors are closed and sealed all who are present lay hands on the container and bless it for a safe journey thousands of miles away to where individuals will rejoice when they open this vessel, packed front to back, top to bottom, with the Word of God. One other critical logistic point is, Love Packages only has 2 hours from the time the truck and container show up until it has to depart Butler. There are so many repetitive steps that take place at Love Packages, very similar to training camp. Step and repeat, step and repeat. Honestly for most people the process is tedious and redundant. God bless every staff person and volunteer who performs these menial tasks without complaint. It’s hot in the warehouse in the middle of summer, I couldn’t do it long term! Every day at noon, during lunch, workers are blessed by the great testimonies Steve, Vern and now my son Aaron share with others present. On one of the trips to Butler, I was present to hear a testimony that Steve told, about a man in the Philippines who has worked with Love Packages for a number of years. As Steve was sharing about this missionary in the Philippines, I thought, could this possibly be Dwight Palmquist, a missionary who has really impacted me in a profound way? Moments later, Steve said the missionary's name was Dwight Palmquist, and my heart leaped. Dwight Palmquist was a very integral part of my spiritual growth, part of my commitment to missions is because of individuals like Dwight. Training Camp really never ends on this side of eternity. Dwight Palmquist went to his heavenly reward last year and now all those tedious efforts made by volunteers are paying dividends. Please be praying how you can be part of an upcoming mission trip. More information to come in the next few weeks about future opportunities. Spooner church is only 60 minutes away, they can use your help right now! No matter how repetitive the task might be as you volunteer your time, you’re planting seeds with everything you touch, no matter how menial it might seem. Part of our vision at Hawthorne Assembly is to provide opportunities for every person who has a call of ministry on their life, and the platform to take those first steps. We need you!


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