Monday, March 7, 2011


Bridgeway Evangelical Church
Kendallville, IN

I think it is official. Molly and I are becoming Boilermakers by osmosis. We have been blessed to stay with two different generations of Wolheters in the Kendallville area. The Purdue fan transformation started at Dennis and Bonita Wolheter’s house when we stayed in James’ old room. The light switches are a bronze/gold and at the top they read, “PURDUE TURNS ME ON” while the bottom reads, “INDIANA TURNS ME OFF”. Our transformation continued later in the week as we stayed with Pastor Jeff and Andrea Wolheter. We were placed in the upstairs “Purdue Room” complete with everything Purdue themed from trashcan and pillows to pennants and posters. I woke up to black and gold surrounding me and even though I had no prior connection with the university, I had some strange sense of pride.

We were in Kendallville for Super Bowl Sunday and had a good time just relaxing, watching the game, and of course watching the Pre-game interview with Bill O’Reilly and Obama. As my Chicago Bears barely missed being in the Super Bowl, I found myself rooting for the Steelers.  I’m sure I was in the same boat as many others finding they root for teams they’ve never had connection with before. American Idol has been a huge phenomenon for the past decade in big part because the fans hold the collective fate of the contestants. There is something inside each of us that just loves to be a part of something. We spent a full week in Kendallville and got to feel what it would be like to be a part of the Bridgeway EC community. We were invited into several different homes for lunch and dinner and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with each of the families. One of the harsh realities of deputation is having to get back on the road after you have made such great connection with the people of a church. We often find ourselves saying, “We could live here”. We look forward to getting to Santa Cruz and making our ministry connections there, but we are thoroughly enjoying building friendships along the way.

Each time we’re in a new home I am reminded of something I heard in a  seminar last year. The speaker shared this idea: “The true test of whether or not your church people are connecting is when someone knows where everything goes in someone else’s kitchen.” I wholeheartedly agree with this idea. If you know where things go then it shows that you have invested time in that place. So I leave you with this challenge.

Invite some people over to your house that have no idea where anything goes in your kitchen and nurture that connection until they do.  

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