“Last year, we had an inventory of about $36,000 and we sold most of that,” he said. “That left us with about $5,000 to use for a mission trip.” This year’s cut of the sales will be used for a mission trip next June to El Salvador, Lane said.
“About 30 of us, including me and my wife, Pam, will be going to an Assemblies of God facility and we will spend 12 days there,” he said, adding that the facility is a compound, the centerpiece of which is a large structure constructed like a castle that includes meeting space and dorms. The plan for the mission is still being drawn up, but Lane said it likely will include ministering to children in public schools, some evangelistic work and possibly some relief and construction projects.
The facility where the mission will be based prepares young El Salvadoran people for ministering to the people in their country, said Lane. “Some 1,000 of these 20-something Salvadorans go from the center to all parts of the country to minister,” he said.
The money from the fireworks sales will, as in past years, be used to help pay for some of the mission’s expenses, Lane said. “Most, if not all, of us who go on mission trips pay our own travel and other expenses,” he said. “The fireworks money is supplemental. We use it to pay for certain things involved in our mission activities.”
Lane said his spouse was the one who came up with the idea of operating a fireworks stand as a way to support the church’s missions. “Pam thought it would be a quick way to raise a good chunk of change to support our missions, and she has been right,” he said.
The church annually has received permission from Walmart to use space in the store’s parking lot, and it has gotten its fireworks from TNT Fireworks, one of the nation’s premier fireworks companies. And it is a company that apparently is catering more and more to churches and other non-profit organizations, he said. “It is my understanding that TNT has gone almost exclusively to selling their fireworks through non-profits, at least that has been what’s been happening here in Kentucky.” he said.
While TNT provides and sets up the tent and fills it with the fireworks that are to be sold from it, Lane said all the labor comes from church members, especially those who will be on the mission trip that the sales support.
“All 30 people who will be going on the mission trip to El Salvador next June have worked in the tent,” he said. “It not only ensures that there will be people manning the tent at all times, it also is a good way for those who may not be that familiar with everybody going on the trip to get to know each other.”
And Lane excepts what has become a church tradition — and also something of a Danville Fourth of July tradition — to continue in 2011. After all, the Cornerstone fireworks tent has become a fixture for a couple of weeks or so every summer in the Walmart lot. “We will have another mission to support and another group of people who will be going on it inside the tent selling fireworks,” he said.