Monday, August 10, 2009

Sioux Falls - 1000 miles away

I'm just sitting here thinking about my week in Sioux Falls and my heart is really sad. I had such a blast getting there, being there, and the ride home. Each year there are new experiences. We renew old relationships and build new ones. For weeks and months, I look forward to this trip. Then it's over and back to reality. Don't get me wrong there are so many great things that happened in SF that I want to share with my friends and family at home. It's just hard for it to come and end so quickly.

It's really hard to explain to people about the connection that I have with SF. Unless you have been there, you don't understand. And maybe if you have been there, you still may not understand. I think Jeff T. understands. He told me that he was looking through all the pictures and had to stop because it upset him too much because he was not there. There's just something not quiet explainable.

One of things that we do is park ministry. There are children that come out to the park for VBS and sports camp that are waiting on us each day when we get there. They hang on every word we say. It seems that they are surprised by our unconditional love for them. These children are experiencing the love Christ has for us through our words and actions. Bonds and connections are made on Day 1. There were siblings that made an impression on me. Corey, Caelan, and Austin. Three of the sweetest children you will ever find. They were their waiting on Monday for us. And they were the last to leave on our last day on Thursday. They listen intensively at every Bible story, learned the songs, loved the games and crafts. They experienced every we thing we did like it was the first time. I have no doubt in my mind that it was probably some first for them. I am so glad to be part of planting a seed in their lives in what will hopefully be the beginning of their walk with Jesus.

The other thing that I was thinking about the friendships we build. Cindy, Gayle, Jeff, Julie, Rob, Karen, Chris, John, Ben, Philip!...these are the faces that are sketched in my mind and in my heart that we have seen and spent time with over and over again. They are each special to me in a certain way. It's really hard to only spend one week out of the year with them. They are like family yet we don't get to see them often enough. Each one of them holds a place in my heart. It's like part of my heart was left in SF. God has been good to extend our Christian family beyond our small town.!

Something else that I think about is how much time I get to spend with some of my church family. I don't like riding a 15 passenger van for 4 days but I love the time spent with my folks. You learn so many things about each other some good and some not so good. The conversations we have are priceless! I absolutely love watching Zack, AJ, Brandy, and Ashley interact with each other and with the children. I see the love they have for each other, the love they have for me, and the love they have for the Lord sometime during the week. You think you are close to people before you go but you always learn something new about them!

Bro. Randy is right when he says you will learn something about yourself, something about God, and something about others.
I learned that I have a love for mission beyond even what I knew. I want it to be more than a week of my summer.
I learned that God is faithful and that we should keep on focus on Him. Just check out Nehemiah 1...this is another blog story that is amazing!
I learned that we have all gifts that if we allow God to use us He will.

Although part of my heart feels sad and is also full of joy and excitement with how used our Louisiana Team.

1 comment:

Michawn said...

i love your picture blog header. ;) cuteness.

and ANY-TIME (!) you want to come down and 'do missions' with us here in brazil, you just let us know!! (well, except for next summer...we'll be in the states then...hope to see you there)

we have an orphanage just a street over where we spend a good bit of time. they have had 2 teachers there (one from rio, one from london) this summer, just to do fun things with the kids. how awesome does that sound? so, wanna come live with us and be a missionary there for a summer? 2011 sound good to you? ;)

bonus, we could do weight watchers and exercise together. imagine how skinny we'll be by then. ;)