My brain is still in youth mission trip mode! That means it's a bit fuzzy but focused on the tasks in front of me. It was a mountaintop week of 24/7 with the team of amazing, gracious, and hard-working youth. I am proud of them. You would be proud of them as well.
“Let them give thanks to you, LORD, for your steadfast love and your wonderful works for all people.” Psalm 107:8
This team of youth – they got it and they shared with all their hearts God’s purpose for the week. Together we served our resident, Francine, not only by the work we provided her, but by being in a loving and trusting relationship with her and alongside of her. One without the other is meaningless; but both together is life changing meaningfulness.
I would say the greatest challenge of the week was NOT the 90+ temps with high humidity, the reality of the condition of the home we were working on without a sustainable roof, the 30-foot ladders that didn’t come close to reaching the top floor, the cafeteria food, the air-mattresses, the limited showers, and so on. The real challenge was the strength to love one another each day without looking over our shoulders to see what “the others” were not doing – aka – youth from other communities on our same work crew who simply did not come to work.
We are called to love one another so that the light (in this case, the painting of a home in the center of Toledo, Ohio) shines the light of Jesus.
“Whoever is wise will ponder these things, and consider well the LORD’s steadfast love.” Psalm 107:43
You, my beloved friends, are loved now and forever by a God who loves first, loves forever, and invites, encourages, and commands that we love one another.
By now, you have received notice that I have accepted a new call to First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids. I am thankful for the opportunity to share God’s love with you and you with me.
See you in worship!