~ Recaps ~
Special thanks to Reporter John Le and Cameraman Eric Sanders of WLOS-TV, Asheville N.C. for filming me at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May 2010 and at Tri-County Speedway in July 2010. The footage was presented on the "Absolute Le" TV spot entitled, "Godspeed," which depicted what I do as a Motor Racing Chaplain. God is so good! Quite "coincidently," John came across the Ministry online and contacted me. Click onto the link below, then click onto Absolute Le, in search box type . . .
1st Annual MRO Sunday
On Sunday, March 18th, 2007 we had our first Motor Racing Outreach Sunday presented by GODandNASCAR and Gateway Christian Community Church. It was a day of Fun, Fellowship and Testimonies. We had motorcycles, street cars & a late model race car that is being raced on the Tri-County track near Hickory, NC. The Atlanta race was on the big screen and there was plenty of chili and tenderloin sandwiches, thanks to Brother Tad.
Bill Carpenter, Motor Racing Outreach's National Track Outreach Coordinator interviewed Asheville's upcoming 3rd generation driver Coleman Pressley, son of Robert Pressley. Coleman finished second in points at the Hickory Motor Speedway last year. It was a great and informative interview. Key things of this interview were: How Bill met Coleman through the children's outreach of MRO. Coleman had the opportunity to preach at 10 years old to a large crowd of people when he was attending a MRO/NASCAR event. Coleman certainly is not ashamed of the Lord and will speak on His behalf. Bill also shared the story of how he was called upon by the Lord to be the one that was to go with a NASCAR official to notify Adam Petty's team about Adam's death. The story indeed was a powerful one and shows the vital importance of Motor Racing Outreach.
Another interesting fact was that the late model race car owned by Mike Silver and driven by Bruce Green has a long connection with the Pressley family. Bruce has raced against each of the three generations of Pressley's, Bob, Robert and Coleman. A special thanks again to them for bringing their car and to all that made our First Annual MRO Rally Sunday a success!
October 2006 Review
GOD and NASCAR's debut at LMS was a blessed endeavor! We raised a total of $1,000 through businesspersons and churches of several different denominations. Several churches provided snacks, baked goods, water and coffee. New Bridge Baptist Church loaned three travel trailers as well as transportation, setup and return pick up. In addition, they provided fuel for the transport of these trailers. Brother Ken Bagwell, a local radio talk host, donated the use of his truck for about three weeks.
Crossroads Assembly of God donated the use of their cargo trailer. My neighbor donated the use of his generator which provided electricity for all the trailers. My former Associate Pastor volunteered to help with the event and traveled all the way from Erwin, TN.
We were interviewed by a local reporter from FOX-TV in Charlotte. Outreach Director, Bill Carpenter, of Motor Racing Outreach was very pleased with the event. This location at the Country Crock Campground is now ours for the next three to five years (or until the Lord returns!).
2009 Year End Review
from the Founder of
GOD and NASCAR
May 2007 Recap
After several months of fund-raising, including the selling of donated "GODandNASCAR. com" shirts, here we were at the homestretch -- the last Sunday before leaving. Pastor Jay of my home church put out a challenge for some "champions" to step up to the plate and help in our extended outreach. When the smoke had cleared, the result of that offering was $2,200. We praise the Lord for His faithfulness! After all was said and done, the total amount of monetary donations from various churches, individuals and organizations, as well as the sale of the aforementioned shirts, amounted to $3,700. In addition to actual money, three travel trailers were delivered and set up by the owners for our use. Only once did one of the trailers have to be switched out for a motor home; for the remainder of the time we were at the "Triple C" (as it was affectionately renamed)! The blessings didn't stop there. Also available to us for two weeks was a cargo trailer, an enclosed Ford F-150 truck, and two generators. Other donated items included two10' x 10' screened-in tents, a magazine rack, freshly baked goods every day for the entirety of the races, candy and several $25 gift cards from local businesses. One could say that the fan outreach was 90% sponsored by the folks of Asheville to show the 100% love of God to the NASCAR community. "Let's go racing . . . .!
Week #1 Overview and Blessings:
Tuesday, May 15th
Upon picking up the cargo trailer from a local Assembly of God Church, I was encouraged to stay for staff prayer. The staff laid hands on me and sent me out. Later after work we loaded generators, as well as other needed equipment, on the cargo trailer.
Wednesday, May 16th
I climbed in the truck around 10:30 a.m. and headed down I-26 towards Charlotte, N.C. Around 1 p.m. I stopped and filled the gas cans and pulled onto the LMS property at Country Crock Campground around 1:30 p.m. One of the travel trailers was already dropped off and was set up. Upon arrival I contacted Bill Carpenter and with his assistance we surveyed the property and placed the cargo trailer in its proper place and we set up a generator. I also had to get the trailer filled with water at the going cost of $25 per trailer. The two other travel trailers arrived from Asheville around 7 p.m. The men set them up for us and then returned home that same day.
Thursday, May 17th
Six o'clock coffee was prepared and the first group of men came down for what became our morning hang-out session. I prayed that the Lord would provide water to the trailers for free. In the midst of our hang-out session with Russ, Mike and Dennis from Ontario, Canada, several issues of prayer were answered quickly without even asking. Russ said that they provided a few people with water during their two week stay and asked if I would like to be one of them. Thank you Lord! Later I was talking to Dennis about the Ford F150 truck we were loaned and how awesome the exhaust system was. Dennis checked it out and found out that the muffler was hanging, so he wired it back up. When Dennis asked me what I would be doing next, I told him I would be setting up the screen tent. What do you think he did after hearing that? He set up the tent! The Holy Spirit connected Mike and I with familiar backgrounds of coming out of alcoholism. Over the next few days as we talked we began to share more and more with each other
We had our six o'clock coffee again, and we also made sure that the security staff was taken care of. We knew how hard they worked and we wanted to be servants to them.
We had two additional volunteers come in from Asheville; one came in the afternoon, and one came that night. This was great because the daily routine of snack food preparation, coffee making, and making ice and gasoline runs can become a little hectic. I had an opportunity to place some posters around the campground announcing the "CARS" movie on Wednesday, as well as Bible Studies on Saturday mornings and Chapel Services on Sunday morning. The Lord provided two free tickets for the truck race that evening which gave me a little time to relax.
Saturday, May 19th
Six o'clock coffee was served as usual. Then at 9:30 a.m. our Interactive Bible Study was held. I was able to walk through the campground offering fresh baked goods and introducing myself and encouraging the folks to come up for coffee, snacks, water, or sweet tea. I also let them know that if they needed to talk or have prayer with us, that we were there and available if they so desired. An additional volunteer came in to assist with the evening shift and to stay on Sunday as well. This made it possible for the current volunteers to watch the All-Star Challenge race. Even though we were enjoying ourselves at the races, we were careful not to forget that we had been placed there divinely. Therefore we kept ourselves ready if there would be a divine appointment to minister through.
Sunday, May 20th
Six o'clock coffee was served as usual. Then at 9:30 a.m. we had our Chapel Service. The service was not heavily attended due to the fact that 70% of the campers were leaving or had left Saturday night. Mike from Ontario was in the service. We had special prayer for the Lewis family, one of many staying in the campground. They received word that his wife's dad had a stroke and they were undecided what to do. God answered the prayer and his illness wasn't quite as bad as they thought. The Lord had heard our prayer. The Spirit led me to speak on a message entitled "Life is a Highway." In it I spoke words that all who travel the highways could relate to. All of our volunteers left by early evening. Shortly after that a local newscaster from FOX Charlotte did a special interview on the people in the Country Crock Campground and we were fortunate enough to be a part of that interview.
Week #2 Overviews and Blessings
Monday, May 21st
Six o'clock coffee was served for the early morning group. This day was a day of re-stocking and preparing for week two. This time would be the slow time with only my family assisting in preparation since all the volunteers went back to Asheville. Allen Nye the Movie and Magic Guy came to the site early in the afternoon. He would be showing the movie "CARS" on Wednesday and doing some magic tricks as a means to introduce children to the gospel of Christ as well as teach any that would learn. He made a trial run on the equipment on the first evening of his arrival and showed other movies in different campgrounds during the week.
This evening was when one of the travel trailers was switched out and a motor home was put in its place.
Tuesday, May 22nd
Six o'clock coffee was served. My wife and daughter had to man the fort alone, since I had to make a return trip to Asheville and back.
Wednesday, May 23rd
Coffee was served first thing in the morning like always. During these early morning coffee hang-out times we were getting to know each other and a trust was forming. The ministry here at this family camp ground was a Pastoral Care type of ministry; never confrontational and always caring and loving; listening and being available to pray and help if called upon. The "CARS" movie was the best attended of all the movies shown by Allen. It provided family entertainment and the Holy Spirit pointed out a few spiritual applications from the movie which I made mention of, and then we had prayer. Once again I reminded the people that we were available if any needed an additional "Spiritual Pit Stop."
Thursday, May 24th
Six o'clock coffee continued on. The campground was getting fuller, and that night was CTC Pole night. My pastor's two teenage sons were going to come and volunteer and I promised we would let them see their first live NASCAR event in Charlotte. These young men were great volunteers and released a great deal of my work load off of me. They also had a chance to learn some magic tricks to help them minister to the children. The showing of the "CARS" movie drew more children to our information/ministry site.
Friday, May 25th
Our coffee at six continued on and we were meeting new people daily as the campground was getting closer to its fullest capacity. The Lord switched things around on our original schedule and we were able to rest somewhat before the next two hectic days.
Saturday, May 26th
We had three more volunteers that came in from Asheville. They arrived just in time for the 9:30 a.m. Bible Study. We were visited by David from the Chicago land Speedway Ministry, as well as Jim Evans who is director of Windy City Raceway Ministry, as well as being Self Supporting Ministries Director of Willow Creek Community Church. This day proved to be a very hot, hot day and we were able to give out hundreds of bottles of water to those who we sweltering in the heat. The campground was filled to its max, and by afternoon we were pretty much locked in. We had additional help come in from a couple on our board. Mark made his second trip from Asheville, this time accompanied by his wife Ann, who would be ministering to the children and offering face-painting. My daughter Danielle and I had some premium bonding time at the Busch Race. We received confirmation from Bill Carpenter that evening that indeed Morgan Shepherd would be at our Sunday service.
Sunday, May 27th
It's hard to believe this was our last full day there at Country Crock Campground. Coffee was ready at 6 a.m. and the people were passing by on their way to the bath house for their long wait to shower. The campground was buzzing with activity. Our service started with recognition of all veterans and current military personnel, and we all joined in the "Pledge of Allegiance" led by one of our veterans who came to help volunteer. We sang "Proud to be an American" and it was a blessing to have Morgan give his testimony and speak about his foundation which helps families in distress. Morgan's testimony was powerful and brought Glory to God! The service was anointed and many were challenged by the Holy Spirit. We encouraged the people to fill out prayer request cards. Morgan stayed after the service to sign autographs and talk to the people one on one. The service was attended by about 55 people. We received a dozen prayer requests after the service.
Conclusion: In our 13-day stay we established ourselves as a Chaplaincy/Pastoral Care team, there to assist if anyone needed prayer or any other spiritual direction. We also took great care to make sure that we were educated in helping and becoming an efficient and well running information center for track locations as well as Charlotte locations.
During the two weeks we were there we collected prayer requests from the chapel services and as we talked to many people during the days we were there. We give God the Glory for what was accomplished there!
Pictures from the
2009 Summer Blast
Barnardsville Resource Center
Pictures from the
Pictures from May 09 LMS Outrech
Lowes Motor Speedway Journal
Monday, May 12, 2008:
It's a new year, a new challenge, new names, but it's still the "Beast of the Southeast" here at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. So once again we say, "Boogity, boogity, boogity boys . . . let's go racing!"
As I sit here in the motor home at 2:00 AM, it's a great time to reflect just how long this day has been and how many components it has been made up of. Of course, this day really started months ago in the planning phases which seem endless when you're going through them, but now that it's here, there's always a feeling of incompleteness. But be that as it may, the day has started at 4:30 AM. Joe did spend part of the day at work and was given early release for good behavior and impending craziness. I, on the other hand, also began the day early due to impending craziness. With at least dozens of chores to be completed and at least that many errands to be run, we actually got on the road at 6:00 PM. The trusty Saturn began its journey with Joe at the wheel and for me – I think I made it to the interstate before I fell asleep! "Wow, what a short trip," I exclaimed as we were pulling off the exit in Concord, only minutes from the track! Poor guy.
Arriving at the Country Crock Campground, which will still affectionately be referred to as the "Triple C," was almost like arriving 'home.' It didn't take but moments to spring into action. However, I would not be able to say one more word before I could bestow blessings and thanks to three remarkable and selfless men of Newbridge Baptist Church in Asheville, NC for their unending kindness and generosity for all they do and have done for us constantly. They are all nothing short of amazing. Now comes the task of unloading at least the car, which is full of food, graciously donated to us from our church in Asheville – Gateway Christian Community Church. Everything else – motor homes, utility trailer, truck, water tank and generators are all poised and stand at the ready for the surge of activity that is about to take on life at the GodandNASCAR site.
A short visit from Bill Carpenter, our fearless leader from MRO and from our friend, the security guard, it all begins. But darkness and exhaustion cuts us short and we finally grab a bite to eat, get settled in the motor home and it's finally time to call it a night. But wait – didn't I get a 2½ hour nap? I guess that's why my night has stretched into 3:00 AM. Well – time to grab a couple hours sleep before we round the turn into Day 2. Until later!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008:
Excitement is continuing to mount as the official opening of the races at the speedway is almost upon us. People are buzzing everywhere; old friends are reconnecting and new friends are being made all day.
We have been blessed with an unusually large amount of food and we are definitely looking forward to sharing. As well, the campers are extremely ready to receive. Motor homes have steadily been coming in, but the pace has picked up today. Homes of every description have started their parade from the pop-up to the most luxurious rig you've ever seen – each one proud of their home on wheels! Flags are waving proudly, fences are put up, outdoor carpets, lights and chairs adorn front doors, neighbors are meeting neighbors and the sounds and smells of race cars practicing on the track are your reminders of what is about to explode with excitement. As we are located right outside Turn 3, the volume of your everyday conversation has gone from normal speaking to shouting as you feebly attempt to compete with the roar and power of these cars.
Life is never dull at the Triple C. People are here to enjoy a sport they dearly love. Sure, many are here to mainly have fun, but some are here with heartaches and the heaviness of life, which puts on wheels and travels right along with them. God willing, we are here to be the safety net to catch people when life is heavier than they can handle. We're here to fill to the best of our ability and serve how the Lord intended for us to be used – yes . . . even at the racetrack!
Thursday, May 15, 2008:
Up and at it at the crack of dawn! Endless pots of coffee need to be perked, the snack tables need to be put to ready, snack baskets filled, morning papers made available and a gaggle of other things made presentable for our first guests – our good friends who keep watch over the campsite, as well as the remainder of the guests at the Triple C. Let me introduce you to the crew; they are Rachael and Robbie who go off duty at 7:00 AM and Leroy, Bill and Bill Carpenter, Jr. who are our trusty crew from 7 AM to 7 PM. They have been faithful and hard at work at all times covering many situations that most are not even aware of.
Next order of business has been to prepare our Monte Cristo Breakfast Sandwiches for anyone who wants to eat free. So far we've been serving about 50 guests, but each day as the word spreads, so does our outreach.
Amid many other daily chores, we are greeted by the "Mayor" of the Triple C and many other friends at approximately 6 AM. Deep discussions take place and so many good friendships are solidified. Also, there is a strong bond that forms which goes far beyond just a "race track" experience, of which I will share at a later date!
Lunch is up next as we prepare once again for whomever wants to come and eat for free. This has proven to be not only a fun experience, but an opportunity to speak into many people's lives on a one-to-one basis. This has proven to be an awesome experience for all concerned!
Friday, May 16, 2008:
It's officially "NASCAR Day" today and the first of all the races is about to begin in minutes. Qualifying has just ended for the All Star Race and the fans seem quite upset that Kyle Bush took the pole for tonight's truck race and for tomorrow's All Star. Seems people are still upset about the Bush/Jr. incident. A loyal bunch, they are!!
Excitement is definitely permeating the air. How different it is to actually be at the track versus just watching it on television. To actually hear and feel the power of all the cars at once is exhilarating!
But this day has definitely had its ups and downs. We successfully fed many for breakfast and lunch. Our coffee lovers were at our door at 5:30 AM. Monte Cristo Sandwiches were on tap for breakfast and no sooner had we gotten done when lunch was being prepared. Although this has gotten to be a routine morning experience, the dynamics are always a little different. As long as there are people, situations vary which make for most unusual opportunities.
As promised earlier, I wanted to explain the twist in today's activities. All things considered, the routine has been established and things are going well. When we came to a much deserved lull late in the afternoon, Joe decided it would be a great opportunity to go to the shower facility and freshen up. Of course as life would have it, the weather decided to shift patterns and thus was born the remake of the storm in "The Wizard of Oz." As magazine racks had fallen over and a large carpet was sent airborne, I was trying to gather flying literature and coffee cups. In the blink of an eye, a gust of wind caught the awning of the motor home and sent it spiraling upward, breaking off an arm and flipping half of the awning on the roof and the other half pulled just as tightly as it could be. I stood stunned for a moment and did what anyone would calmly think through and respond to - I picked up my cell phone and not so calmly shrieked for Joe to get home before the entire place blew apart! Quickly trying to lower the opposite end of the awning to avoid further damage, who should I seen running towards the moho at breakneck speed but the Mayor and several of our friends and neighbors. Without a moment's hesitation, they sprung into action and were crawling under downed sections of the awning and on the roof to retrieve the balance of the mangled mess. Within moments, they had pulled pieces off the roof, untangled the parts, surveyed the damages and had the awning re-rolled and looking normal. After reevaluating the situation, things had to be put on hold for the weekend as Joe had to be in Bristol, Tenn. early the following morning to fulfill his duties as Chaplain for UARA (United Auto Racing Association). And so, another "normal" day draws to a close.
Saturday, May 17, 2008:
It's 5:00 AM and not only are we busily preparing for a new day, but Joe is about to leave by 6:00 AM. With moho gas and water tanks filled, off he leaves toward the Bristol Motor Speedway and my attempting to carry out the next day and a half alone. Actually, things seemed to progress quite smoothly.
The first set of weekend volunteers was due to arrive by about 3 PM – Jeff Lyons and his son, Samuel and Kai Liner, our Pastor's son were steadily making their way to the track from Asheville amid much traffic.
On arrival, they quickly got organized and jumped in to fill whatever duties needed to be done in Joe's absence. Later in the evening, Jeff and Samuel went to the All-Star Race; this being Samuel's first race experience and Kai and I stayed back at the site enjoying dinner, conversation and a beautiful sunset. That Kai is nothing short of a fine young man who unbeknownst to himself, has done his parents proud. Even above that, I know he has pleased the Lord. After Kai turned in early, I sat out waiting for the end of the race, which was even decked out in fireworks, to finally come to a close.
With final evening preparations completed, the remainder of us turned in to our respective moho's to end yet another day!
Sunday, May 18, 2008:
Well – I thought things were running smoothly, but maybe not! My moho ran out of water and by early morning, the generator stopped working. This was a great start, especially since we were expecting a larger number of people due to chapel services being held a little later in the morning. As we found out, the generator was out of oil and the hoses for the water pump were not compatible. OK – so no water, but we finally did get power back thanks to Leroy, who had an extra quart of oil. You guessed it – one more thing to put on the inventory list!
Jeff later conducted Sunday morning service in Joe's absence. What started out as an interactive devotional, stretched into 1½ hours. It was a wonderful service. If I may site an example of how people here bond, one of the men who came to the service mentioned that he spoke to Joe last year regarding some problems his daughter was going through and requested prayer for her. Joe had not seen nor spoken to this man for one full year, but as soon as he saw him this year, the first thing he inquired about was the man's daughter. The man responded in tears that someone would even remember after all that time. This is the very reason . . . it's all about people and reaching out to their needs!
After Joe returned from Bristol, the group was now intact, but soon it was time for Jeff, Samuel and Kai to take their leave back to Asheville.
As always, we are so very grateful for their help and their kindness.
Monday, May 19, 2008:
What started out as a calm and normal sort of day had no bearing as to the way the day ended. As always, the sunrise at the Triple C was gorgeous. The vibrant colors change the early dawn lights into a blaze of color. It's peaceful, yet it exhilarates the spirit within to move you into the moment. Wishing and hoping it would last longer, the eyes now become the camera to your soul.
As people begin to wander in for their morning coffee, it's apparent how much they need to share their burdens. Each day is unlike any other. The schedule, if you will, is fairly basic, but each individual makes each day special.
After running a few errands, I returned to the campsite by about 3 PM. Upon opening the car door, Joe came running to help unload supplies and laundry. He was all about rushing because a storm was getting ready to hit the area. I looked up at the beautiful blue sky and figured he was slightly on the edge, but I decided to make him happy by scurrying about quickly. Within moments, the skies turned from a friendly and inviting blue to an angry and ominous storm. Violent rains and 60 mph winds whipped through the Triple C and unleashed every bit of power it had. We barely made it into the moho. Within about a 15 minute span of time, the storm had ceased, but the damage was incredible. The awning on the other moho, which had been doubly secured, was ripped apart and all the other tents were twisted and sheared to pieces and scattered all over the site. Everyone emerged from their homes in disbelief as the damages were surveyed. Neighbors were checking neighbors to see if there were any injuries, of which there were none. Just when we thought we were now in the clear, another downpour began now flooding many of the campsites. Again, this second wave of weather lasted about 10 minutes and proceeded to clear again. We had no further damage since there was nothing left to destroy, but the moho shook and swayed so badly, I thought it would go over. However, within minutes, a police car rode through the campground with a loudspeaker to warn of a twister on the way. Everyone was encouraged to evacuate, but with not enough room in the shelter, we circled the track to seek some form of safety, however we were told that the warning was cancelled so we headed back to the moho. Once again, after the storm passed, everyone helped each other pick up the pieces and just worked on the most severe damages first. Not very much could be done accept for gathering debris and mud soaked belongings. It was a long evening, but satisfied everyone had done all they could up to this point, we fell into bed, thankful that no one was injured, but knowing a big job was before us. Enough for one day – until tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008:
A new twist to a new day – clean up, repair and restart. It was truly amazing to see people come together as one unit with only one thing on their minds. Everyone wanted to know where they could be of assistance. Groups were forming and disbursing throughout the campsite until by the end of the day, just about everything was in good repair.
Although we lost 2 tents and two motor home awnings, by the end of the day, one awning was repaired by the generosity of a fellow camper at the Triple C and we were now in possession of 3 brand new tents. I'd say it was a miracle in progress!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008:
What a difference a day makes! With the help of some wonderful people, all the tents are back up and everything is even better. Pastor Clark Henderson of Newbridge Baptist Church in Asheville had scheduled to pick up his motor home today because of it being needed elsewhere. When he arrived at the campsite, he blessed us with an even bigger tent, more bottled water for giving away, as well as other blessings! Truth be know, we could never repay him nor his congregation for their generosity and kindness in sticking with us. Mere words could not truly express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has been a part of this ministry.
To be truly honest, this has been an overwhelming day, and with this thought, I close!
Thursday, May 23, 2008:
Just a short note – praise the Lord, we are back on track!!
Friday, May 23, 2008:
How God blesses everyday! We have made such wonderful friends here at the Triple C. As always, we had our usual crowd for breakfast and a great crowd for lunch. They really enjoyed our grilled mozzarella cheese, turkey and ham paninis on focaccia bread. Morgan Shepherd's daughter, Cindy, blessed us with ten huge layer cakes. If I didn't mention it before, it has thrilled us to be able to feed the security staff, the Lowes Motor Speedway Police Force, EMT's, paramedics, ice ladies, trash pick-up men, newspaper delivery staff, maintenance men, and sponsors delivering samples who put in long hours and are pretty much locked into the speedway.
This afternoon was devoted to NASCAR Bingo – not for money, of course, but for great NASCAR gifts. Not just day by day, but moment by moment, trust and bonds with people here lead to the one-on-one special moments that are shared each day.
Saturday, May 24, 2008:
Up and at it early once again, It's windy and rainy here this morning but as per usual, Charlotte will hopefully clear up for us. Breakfast at the ready; hot muffins just out of the oven baked by my daughter, Nicole and dozens of donuts from our Canadian friends are at the ready to feed our pre-chapel service guests, as well. Monte Cristo sandwiches were also on the daily menu as we were donated many hundreds of these by Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte. Services began with a large group in attendance. Liz from Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Hendersonville, NC donated several hours of her time to come along side and help out. However, I really believe that our appointment was divinely set for ministry between her and I.
As we began to set up for lunch, things started out rather slowly. The lunch hour began with most of our regulars but soon ended up feeding massive groups of people. After all was said and done, we still had more food than people. Funny how that works!!
As I sit here writing, practice for the race has just begun again. It is definitely loud and explosive – people are scurrying by the masses to get to the stands. Soon fighter jets will fly by and literally shake your insides to their very core. It is an awesome sight to see and sound to hear. I'll be here manning the fort, but I'll be back to let you know who won.
Well, much to the fan's regrets, Kyle Bush was tonight's race winner. This ends another night here at the speedway.
Sunday, May 25, 2008:
Well, this is it – the big race. It's the Coca-Cola 600, the longest individual race for the entire NASCAR Season and it is a beautiful day today. We are busily preparing for this morning's Memorial Day Service; breakfast is underway and many are arriving early to eat and chat before church. Our keynote speaker for today is Mr. David Alford, who is the Gas Can Man for Paul Menard's Pit Crew.
As the service began and Joe made his introductions, one can only feel a sense of pride as the crisp new flag waved its colors in the soft breeze. Acknowledgements were made to our men and women who have served our country and you could feel our honor and their pride as they stood from their seats to receive this honor. As well, everyone there turned to the motor home behind our site as they stood to pay homage to the Canadian military as their flag waved proudly while the Canadian Anthem was played. It was definitely a very moving experience.
In all, about 100 people were in attendance as David spoke from his heart about life as a Christian in his profession. "Are you willing to let Jesus be the Crew Chief of your life?" was the question he posed to the congregation. There were two decisions made for salvation and many re-dedications. Tears of joy were flowing from another family because someone they had been praying for came to the service – someone who would never go to a "traditional" church. I am so grateful for transparent church walls. It seems to be where Jesus does his best work – yes, even at the racetrack!!
So, was our goal mainly to take numbers on how many were saved or re-dedicated or fed? It's just that we were there to minister to people not as numbers, but as precious souls. We left the numbers for the Lord!
We are so grateful to all those who contributed in any way to this ministry. We could not have done it without you.
I want to lovingly thank our daughters for all they have done and for standing behind us ready to jump in at a moment's notice:
Nicole Hubbard – Charlotte Liason/Culinary (Fresh Baked Goods)
Alexis Hubbard – Savannah Support
Maria Louis – Operations Support
Danielle Louis – Track Info Coordinator
OCTOBER '07 SUMMARY:
Dates: 10/08 ~ 10/14/07
World of Outlaws - Jani-King Showdown ~ Dirt Track ~ (Wed., 10-10-07)
Bojangles' Pole Night ~ (Thurs., 10-11-07)
NASCAR BUSCH – Dollar General 300 ~ (Fri., 10-12-07)
NASCAR NEXTEL – Bank of America 500 ~ (Sat., 10-13-07)
Track: LOWES MOTOR SPEEDWAY, Charlotte, NC
Location: FAN OUTREACH, COUNTRY CROCK CAMPGROUND
Fall – such a beautiful time of year! The crisp breezes waft gently through the trees as the beautifully colored leaves sway before giving up and falling to the ground, and the night sky seems to sparkle as the stars seem almost touchable. Such a time of majesty and peace and POWER and PEOPLE and ENGINES ROARING .... you guessed it. It's the Beast of the Southeast at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina and if you listen closely, you will probably hear those infamous words, "Boogity, boogity, boogity boys, let's go racing!"
GOD and NASCAR from Asheville, North Carolina was thrilled to once again be a part of Motor Racing Outreach at the Country Crock Campground, affectionately known as the "Triple C," this past October 8 – 14, 2007. As always, the week was packed with excitement, anticipation, setting up campsites, reconnecting with old friends, making new friends and most of all, being the tool God purposed for this ministry to be a light and a blessing to all those who pass through!
We arrived at the track late Monday afternoon to begin the process of setting up for the week ahead and realized right from the start that one of our main stabilizers was our friend and "she can and does do everything gal," Cheryl Shore! Not enough praises can be sung to her for all her hard work, and for going more than the extra mile all the time!!
But something was a little different this time at the "Triple C."Instead of the motor homes being set up in their usual fashion, dead smack in the center of the campsite was a 40 foot hauler who had been adopted into the space. "What is that," we asked each other as I'm sure we looked slightly perplexed? Yes . . . it was the stage for the concert that was to be held later in the week. As we all know, going with the flow seems to be the keyword for success. So . . . that is exactly what we did as we stared blankly at this "white elephant" until our trusty leader, Bill Carpenter, shared the news that a 10 member band and all their cars and their two large moho's and our three moho's, cars, trucks, utility trailer and volunteers would all be one big happy family. The campsite was a buzz of activity from moment one. As we were beginning to set up our Spiritual Pit Stop, Track and Citywide Information Center, our Snack, Coffee, Bottled Water and Hot Chocolate Center, not to mention areas for Raffles, Promotions and last but not least, our Doggy Treat Area, the band had pulled down the doors of the hauler and began a cacophony of sound as ladders, saws, hammers, levels and tools of every description began to transform the hauler into a fully lighted gigantic stage with speakers lifted 20 feet into the air on both sides of the stage and a sound system under a tent, even. What a sight!!
People were immediately beginning to wander in; first off to reconnect and to find out information about schedules for races and driver appearances, etc., some were desiring chapel service times, some were just curious about the entire setup and old friends were wanting to help any way they could.
As each new day began, more and more motor homes were pulling in and beginning their own setup process. The vast array of campers from the smallest pop-ups to the largest luxury homes was almost mind-boggling! Then the parade of driver haulers began to grace the track; the roar of the engines one after another as they proudly displayed numbers and sponsors painted on larger than life. Even if racing was not your "thing," one could not help being sucked into the shear excitement of all the sights, sounds and yes, even smells of the impending events!
As the hours marched into days, everyone on the GOD and NASCAR Team fell into the daily routine. We looked forward to the daily stream of visitors, some regulars and many new faces. Technically and for the record, our day began at 6:00 AM with fresh coffee, baskets of snacks, bags of dog biscuits for our regular four-legged friends and a mutual exchange of ideas or prayer requests. However, coffee and snacks were actually available 24 hours a day, especially for the "Triple C" Security Team, as well as the Speedway Security Team. We were especially blessed very early one morning to pray for a young couple that was summoned home due to extreme illness requiring hospitalization for one of their young children. All were at the ready to drive them to the airport in order to catch a plane for home. We felt honored and blessed to be able to be used to assist in any way we could!
We were also blessed to make the acquaintance of NASCAR Driver Morgan Shepherd's daughter, Cindy. It was her desire to celebrate her father's birthday by giving him a surprise party during the concert of Trackside Band with cake and soft drinks for all who came. It was definitely a pleasure to be the host for the party. Morgan was gracious to sign autographs for everyone there and to entertain us with his unique talent of dancing on roller skates. To everyone's surprise, Morgan's friend, Tony Stewart, also dropped by to wish him a happy birthday. As you can imagine, this caused quite a stir within the campground.
All in all, between the concert, the party and the appearances, it would seem that fun was had by all! We are also looking forward to working with Cindy again in the future. She is such a sweetheart!
Joe was especially blessed to be able to share his testimony with a man from Buffalo, NY. Ironically, since both men were from the same area, they shared a common bond about the area's racing history. It is always his passion to share the Lord regardless of where he is or what the situation is. As fate would have it, this man and Joe had tickets sitting next to each other during the race! Hummm ...coincidence??? I'll let you answer that.
In conclusion, the GOD and NASCAR Team would like to go on record saying that we appreciate MRO for allowing us to be a part of this ministry. It has always been our desire and our direction to take the gospel out of the four walls into a waiting world – and in this case, the Beast of the Southeast!!
If I may add one more tag – a special thank you to the "Mayor" of MRO, Mr. Bill Carpenter, Jr. He is always the ray of sunshine in each day as he pulls up in his golf cart ready to help in a moment's notice. Bill, Jr. – you are fantastic!
Compiled by Elena Louis (10-24-07)