Tuesday, July 26, 2016

On a Mission Trip

On a Mission Trip

I write this on my cell phone from Christmount in North Carolina. We are on the second workday of a multi church mission trip. As we began the leaders kept saying that we needed flexibility, humility and a sense of humor.  That has surely proved to be true.

I came to work with Wendy with the " little kids" Luke and maya. The big kids go and do mission work in many sites around Ashville and we stay back and do arts and crafts, Bible stories and games. Wendy has done the planning and I am her helper.

Yesterday it became clear that Wendy's daughter was sick and needed to go to the emergency room. She is now in the hospital. So I spent the day with Luke and Maya. Now it looks like Lilly will be in the hospital longer and all our plans keep changing. Flexibility is needed for sure as well as humility as I wait for the leaders to tell me what to do.

So there are - as always challenges for me. I continue to work my way through " the soul of the pilgrim" by Christine Valters Paintner and the last chapter was about the spiritual practice of Being Uncomfortable. She writes that " going on a pilgrimage means releasing our tight hold on our maps and certain directions". That is what is happening here.

I write this now sitting in a messy cabin which has tile floors, concrete walls and iron beds. And in the foreground two children Luke and Maya are working on a sticker book together, they are talking quietly, working beautifully together.  He will soon leave to see his sister in the hospital.There are windows in the cabin high up through which I can see tree branches and leaves.

And I am grateful for this moment and trusting Gods spirit at work.

As I look at this picture I wonder if  it is a metaphor for this experience.
     There is mess here
      There is the material needs and ordinary work

But most important - relationships that development and grow in the midst of confusion and mess and

And above it all the beauty of creation which is For me, a sign of Gods presence and power.
So .... We pray for healing for Lilly and strength for her family and continued growth for all of us as we practice our faith in strange places

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