Friday, November 27, 2015

Mission Lower Ninth: Thanksgiving 2015

Wow. Today was not a "normal" Thanksgiving by any means. One crew of people woke early to head to Miss Kim's home to start work right away. The rest of us got to sleep in a little bit before breakfast. Then we all met up at Church at Next Generation of the Original Morning Star Full Gospel Church in Nee Orleans. Pastor Tyrone Smith delivers a message about "its all GOOD in the hood". We praised Jesus for all the work he has done in our lives and thanked him for what he has given us- most importantly, our salvation. Someithing that can never be taken from us. 

After church we headed right back to the worksite to continue working! 

We had a crew working on trimming doors and windows, the toilets got installed, and we did a ton of sanding! 

We also had a crew go through the entire house and texturizing all the ceilings! They got a little messy but we're working extremely hard! 

We also had multiple crews working in flooring. We completed the flooring in the back bedroom, the kitchen and the master bedroom. 

The moms and daughters worked on building and painting a bed for Miss Kim out of pallets! 

At the end of a long, hard work day we returned to the mission house to have our thanksgiving meal. We had 43 people at the Mission house! We cooked two turkeys and talked about the blessing this trip has been on all of us! We are so thankful for the family we have become this week! It makes being away from our families a little easier. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mission Lower Ninth: Let the Adventure Begin

As I sit in seat 21D, I stare out the porthole window at the snow-covered grass, which is lit by blue runway lights. My heart flutters as the engines rev and we lurch forward. I feel my stomach sink as the wheels stop rumbling and we leave the ground. The goldenrod confetti lights of the Grand Rapids grid lines fade from view as puffs of clouds surround the small EMB-145. The wing cuts through the clouds like a silver spoon slicing through a new tub of cool whip. 

Suddenly the clouds break and I can see for miles. My eyes begin to water as I soak up God's beautiful faithfulness. The dark navy sky slowly fades into the orange horizon. A dark peach-red forms where the sky meets the puffy cream floor of the clouds. I take in a deep breath as a tear rolls down my cheek. This must be what it feels like, to have your dreams and God's calling for your life be so aligned you can no longer tell the difference between the two. They fade from navy to orange to red so smoothly that they become one. No longer separable. My heart is flying above the clouds both physically and emotionally. 

The tears continue to fall as I think back to how I got to this point. I was so scared when God first told me that we were going to rebuild Miss Kim's home. I did not think that we were the right people for the job. Now I understand that I was right. We weren't the right people for the job, but God was the right leader. All we had to do was follow him. And we did- and He has brought us here, to this beautiful moment in time. I am flying down to New Orleans to join a team of over 50 others to rebuild Miss Kim's home in under two and a half weeks. We are using money from the over $28,000 that was donated to the Mission: Lower Ninth campaign. GOD IS FAITHFUL. 

I laugh as I wipe the tears from my face. I have experienced joy in my life before- but not like this. Not at a level this deep in my heart. And then it hits me... This is not the last time I am going to feel like this. God tells me there's more, there's more to come! And it's gonna be great! 

I don't know what is going to happen next. I don't know what the next adventure will be. I don't even know how this Mission: Lower Ninth adventure will end. But I do know this: God is faithful, and he will do what he says. If I follow him, there will be joy. 

I start to imagine what could be next. I see a grin in the window as my reflection stares back at me. Where will we soar to next? I pray that I will follow him again.  
Let the adventure begin now.