Some 2,129 people live in Hayward, Wisconsin. At least that's what the little green sign says coming into town, though it hasn't changed since the 2000 census. Our small Northwoods community isn't on the way to anywhere. It's a destination point. Locals say it's not the end of the earth, but if it weren't for the trees, you could see it from here!

Soon after arriving from southern California 20 years ago, I discovered that small town ministry includes some unique challenges.

I stepped into the men's room shortly before my first prayer meeting and discovered a drowned bat in the toilet. Alarmed, I ran out, grabbed a trustee, and brought him back into the restroom with me.

"What's that rodent doing in the toilet?" I asked.

"Looks like the 'dead-bat float' to me," he replied.

"Well, what are we going to DO about it?"

"No problem," he said, and simply flushed the little critter-—a burial at sea.

As we walked out together, he rolled his eyes, muttering something about "city slickers" while I ...

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