We made it to our first stop--the little farming community of Toronto, SD! It was a jovial, animated 3 hours on the bus. As soon as the brand-new 2016 coach bus pulled away from the HLA curb, the snacks came out and were passed around. There were homemade cream cheese wontons, gummy pizzas, several kinds of trail mix, popcorn, chips, cookies, baby carrots and fruit. And that was just in our section of seats. We read together the account of Jesus’ last day in Luke 22, in preparation for tonight’s Maundy Thursday service.

Blom Prairie Church is a beautiful, historic structure that is “home” to over 70 parishioners. A new addition to the building four years ago provided a lovely fellowship hall and state-of-the-art kitchen while keeping to the design of the original architecture. Most impressive is the vestibule whose ceiling is covering in antique tin tiles. As we unloaded our bus, we were met by smiling faces of women who bustled about preparing a veritable feast, and the aroma promises not to disappoint

Try to imagine nearly students belting out music beneath the dome of the tin-ceilinged arch. I assure you, you cannot. As I type, I am listening to the choir warm up and my arms are covered in goose bumps and tears occasionally fog my eyes.

“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
Oh, my soul praise Him for he is thy health and salvation
All ye who hear now to His temple draw near
Join me in glad adoration.”


I can’t wait to see what God does in the next 10 days through these precious young people!

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