Archive for November, 2009

>800 Cones

Posted: November 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

>800 cones in one day. Black Friday was a very busy day, but not overwhelming for us. All the day long we had an awesome staff serving the people. In fact, there were times when some of us were just standing around. However, we did have some wonderful conversations with people and many asked about our purpose and mission. We talked about helping people and the new church. Darrell was able to have a pointed discussion about Jesus with a fellow who asked. We are developing good relationships with people as we saw many “repeat customers” come back and engage us in more direct conversations. Most people are surprised and delighted with this project. Everyone loves ice cream. We are anxious for the weekly church worship gatherings to start.

In a not-anticipated-development, the mall has Christmas hours which are different from now but not consistent. We’ll have to modify our work schedule. People generally do not eat much ice cream before noon, even though the mall will open at 9AM on some days. We’ll still have to have the store open. Some nights the mall will be open until 10PM. Monday through Friday seems to stay the same (10AM to 9PM) with some changes the week of Christmas.


>In the Zone

Posted: November 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

>This ministry is totally in my zone. As you know, I am really awkward about talking to people uninvited. So we put up a sign to spark a conversation and give away some ice cream and…ta daaaaa….I can converse with everyone. We are making a lot of friends, talking about a lot of issues and generally “making their day.” One awesome spiritual growth benefit is that I am learning to patiently wait for God to move on others. I know that many people just walk by Ice Cream and Answers and never realize that we have free ice cream. I want to yell out to them, but I’ve discovered that the price isn’t secret, it’s on the sign, and God can and does “reveal” it to people. So the folks who come by are people whom the Lord is moving toward us (and toward Jesus). So we smile and wait and treat every “customer” like the entire interaction is a divine and miraculous event.

This culture loves experiences and accidently running across something new and exciting is a real thrill for everyone. This is why we are not trying to get in the paper and have turned down at least one television interview…we want to keep the surprise for people.

We have been able to give advice to many people, we’ve talked about our faith in Jesus and was even able to share the entire Gospel with a fellow this week. God is really do something with this ministry.

Posted: November 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

We have our sign up. It looks great.

>Arkansas Team Finished

Posted: November 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

>The folks from Arkansas finished their project today. The space looks great! We have a sound booth, stage, coffee bar, great paint and an awesome new look about the place. We set up the chairs and the room looks just like we wanted it. Harry Black and his team from the Washington Madison Baptist Association of Arkansas were awesome. Thanks!

>Saturday at the Mall

Posted: November 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

>This week has been phenomenal. We’ve been able to minister to many people. Some people (those God has already prepared obviously) seem to connect with us quickly and have sought us out for help. We’ve listened with compassion and offered some good Biblical advice. BTW, many of these folks have told us stories that cannot be answered over the counter. This is exactly as God showed me it would be. The one issue I have is that I am concerned that during the Christmas rush I’ll not have enough help and be overwhelmed trying to keep up with the demand for ice cream. Pray that the Lord send workers for the harvest (that’s you). Also, we can only “employ” folks of legal work age.
This weekend Harry Black and his team from the Washington Madison Baptist Association in Arkansas are here remodeling sojourn. They are doing and awesome job. By Tuesday we’ll have a great space for our ministry. Keep praying.

>What an awesome day!

Posted: November 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

>Today was our first full day. It was everything I thought it would be. The first two hours we gave out three cones (one to my wife) and Chris and I sat around and had a great time talking. After noon, more people began to come by and the mall got a little more busy. Most people were just amazed that we were giving away ice cream cones (it is crazy)and it took a while for them to trust that there was no catch. We gave away about 220 cones by the end of the day. We pleasantly conversed with lots of people. We had meaningful conversations with several people. I spoke with several couples interested in the workshops and in our church. I had a great conversation with a group of teenagers and a rather long talk with a young man about his upcoming wedding. Overall, we connected well with the community, talked to a lot of people of church (they brought it up) and generally did some great ministry. Here’s a great story from day one. Two teenage girls came by, totally skeptical about whether the ice cream was free. After a couple of passes they engaged us about the whole concept. We gave them some ice cream and joked about “answers.” They left and three minutes later came back with a friend. We got the friend some ice cream and talked some more. They left and a few minutes later came back with about five more people. We got more ice cream and talked some more. Soon, after seconds, we gathered together in the front and talked about ice cream and answers, parents, and church. It was a really awesome day.

>Grand Opening

Posted: November 9, 2009 in Uncategorized

>The Grand Opening was awesome! We started at about 2.30 PM with a brief ceremony in sojourn (our meeting space) then the entire crowd (about 150 people) moved down to the ice cream stand. It was amazing. We cut the ribbon and caused a lot of commotion. Our four ice cream scoopers began scooping at lightning speed and gave out about 300 cones in less than one hour. Cindy and Darrell Payne, Jennifer Petitte, and Sharon Ingram were like a blur building cones for people. Scott Price couldn’t stand it any longer (he used to own an Ice Cream store) so he and Jacquie jumped in and helped also. Thanks for all the help.

We talked with quite a few people. Most were surprised that we were giving away cones for free. We did get to talk a little about our seminars and our purpose. Toward the end of the day (around 4:30 to 6pm) the crowds died down and it looked like one or two people could handle the crowd. We had a lot of conversations with people.

We ordered more ice cream tonight and we hope we’ll have enough to last all week. Tomorrow we have our first seminar; Drama-Free Marriage. Please pray that it goes well.

>Health Department Inspection

Posted: November 5, 2009 in Uncategorized

>This has been a very busy few days. We got the keys to the spaces and immediately began to clean and fix items. We ran into a few snags but it seems we have everything running smoothly. Tomorrow (THursday) is the Health Department Inspection. A special Thanks to those who helped clean Ice Cream and Answers; Paul Parker and his friend from Grace University, Tom worked very hard on cleaning. John DePauw, L’Kay Ruiz, and Linda Blair put in several hours cleaning. Steve Lovett scraped grease off the floor until his chest hurt and Jon Meade and Anthony McLaughlin put the finishing touches on the place by scrubbing the floor spotless. Thanks folks.

Also this week, Kevin Crowe worked very hard (injured shoulder) trying to make my plan to create a menu board on the cheap work. Thanks, Kevin.

Right now, the space is ready to for inspection. We get our first shipment of Ice Cream on Friday. Also, tomorrow morning Travis Hamilton is coming in to professionally clean the carpet at the space we are using for Sojourn.

Several people have stopped me in the mall inquiring about the stores. They are very receptive to our plans and look forward to the ice cream.

The big piece of the health inspection is an oral quiz that I have to pass. I’ll spend the morning studying the regulations.