The main purpose behind why Kingdom Racing is in Indianapolis this month hit a couple of minor snags over the past two days and this is why we have not had any blog entries of which to speak. Monday and Tuesday were spent in reversion, tagging along with the Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports team as they practiced for the upcoming 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. The reason for this was that two of the groups we were scheduled to host fell apart at the last minute. Undeterred, we set out about Indianapolis Motor Speedway and shared the Kingdom Racing story of Christ in the various opportunities the Lord constructed and presented. They were many, momentary, and monumental. Click below to see photo albums from both days:
Come Wednesday however, it was back to the mission upon which God sent us here to do in the first place, to share His love with others. We brought in our second family in the Miles of Smiles program, much in the fashion of what we did on Saturday with the first group.
This group was smaller, a mother with her son and father, as well as a member of a local church that nominated them to attend as part of the Miles of Smiles program in the beginning. The program is certainly appropriately named. From the time the family arrived until the time they left, it would have been impossible to wipe the smiles from their faces as Kingdom Racing treated them to a day at IMS.
This particular family had been nominated due to an internal family tragedy. The devoted father had recently been sentenced to prison, leaving an amazing wife and two young children at home. The past couple of years have been incredibly tough for them, from the startling accusations, to the trial, the guilty verdict, the sentencing, and finally, incarceration of a man who loves his family very much, forced to leave those who love him as well.
What they needed more than anything else was time away to just be happy, spending a day among people who loved them and sought neither to judge nor pity. The ordeal they have endured over the past couple of years is unimaginable to most everyone and the story is incredibly painful to hear. These kids have to be away from their father for nearly six years. A wife and mother must make a home with an absence that was unexpectedly thrust upon the entire family.
The mother's dad joined them for the visit and himself told of the frightful ordeal. What was so amazing was the incredible testimony of them all as to the incredible support they have all received from family, friend, and stranger alike. What they initially felt was a sentence of doom and gloom has turned out to be but a minor glitch among life's odyssey.
It was enthralling to hear of the man's conversion and surrender to Christ upon being faced with time in prison. It was likewise inspirational to hear of the entire family's strength, faith, and fortitude when faced with an uncertain future. They had each put their faith in God that He knew the plan for them. They trusted in it and had never once waveredm bi natter how hard things got.
Up in the Davey Hamilton Racing suite, team founder George del Canto spent time with the family and shared the vision and mission of Kingdom Racing and how God was working through us in the INDYCAR Series. Emotions bubbled over. Tears flowed because the entire group could feel the presence of God as we shared His love with one another. This was a special instance. The family we were ministering with were already believers, but our afternoon served to fellowship with them and offer personal testimony that life in Christ can overcome all earthly adversity.
Later in the afternoon, we took the family down to the Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports garage and let them get up close and personal to the No. 77 car driven by Simon Pagenaud. The look on the young boy's face said it all. He was blown away by what he was able to see and do, standing there next to a real INDYCAR!
Following the visit, we got an email from the mother, proclaiming how thankful she was for the visit and how much fun she, her son, and dad had during it. We also got emails from her dad, thanking us for the opportunity to visit. It's odd. We should be the ones thanking them for the privilege, not the other way around.
All in all, it was an amazing day and certainly one of God's construct. He is doing amazing things in the INDYCAR Series this year, and not only through Kingdom Racing. Through the INDYCAR Ministry and other associated organizations, Christ is making waves in the series in 2012. It is a humbling honor to even be a small part of it. And to participate in events like we had on Wednesday show all involved that there is more to racing than showing up at the track and working on the setup of the car. There are many amazing stories to be had, and the ones we've been seeing glisten far more than any trophy ever could.
As Christ Leads,