Monday, June 30, 2014

Hands and Feet of Christ

Wow, God!

I think most of our group, being new to this type of mission work, entered the weekend with a little anxiety and uncertainty.  For many, this was way out of their comfort zones.  For some, they tiptoed into it, unsure of the outcome but excited to see what God had in store.

As always, God didn't disappoint.  All the time, God is good.

Saturday night, waiting for our kids to come out of the gym from playing basketball, a bit of free time after a long day of mission work, I broke down in joyful tears.

For each of us, this trip was such a milestone - spiritual breakthroughs -to think of where we've been to this place, being used by God to reach the was just almost more than I could fathom.  The fullness of the moment was too much.  I sobbed in prayerful gratitude.

Humbled.  Exhausted, but in a good-tired kind of way.  Surprised.  Joy-filled.

We came on this trip to help others but were blessed tenfold for our service.

It would take me pages upon pages to speak for everyone, so many moments I could share from past 48 hours.  Today, I'll just tell the story from what I least as much as one post can allow.

God opened my eyes more in eight hours than a lifetime before.
He broke my heart for the lost on this trip.
I am forever changed.

My Saturday began doing a prayer walk in a refugee complex where many first stay upon arriving to Nashville.  What impacted me from the start was how the homes and places we visited looked so very normal and ordinary from the outside.  At first glance, I would not know or guess that nations from across the seas now lived within these walls.  But upon opening their doorways, I peered into other worlds.

I tried to picture myself in their situations, slowly walking past each breezeway.  Voices in languages I couldn't understand.  Scents and sounds that were foreign to me.  All the while, the bustling and busyness of city life swirled all around, cars zooming in the streets that circled these apartments.

Could I leave the home I've always known, the comfort of my small town where I can tell by the bend and curve of the road where I am, even with my eyes closed?  Could I fly into an unknown area, where I don't speak the language or know the streets, with nothing to claim as my own?  Could I start life over in a town I'd never heard?  Could I leave everyone I've ever loved for the chance to start anew?

Lost in a new world...

It was unimaginable to me, these brave souls with dark brown eyes, standing on American soil in their bare feet, our flag hanging from some of their balconies.  Unimaginable yet beautiful.  But also heartbreaking.

Because I knew many of them were lost in the worst way.  Lost in the sense that no amount of worldly help or direction can lead them.  Searching for hope and not yet realizing it is within their reach and free.  The price has already been paid by The name above all others.

In the hallways of this complex I prayed for these souls.  That among the fresh start they are beginning, they would find new life in Jesus.  When I came upon tiny chairs, or toys tossed on the back porch, I paused for the littlest of souls in hope that they might grow up to know the One who would never leave them, no matter where their feet may journey.

Later in the day we handed out light bulbs to a Burmese housing complex.  We were told from our group leader that many, upon coming to our country, don't even know what light is.  Some have to be shown the simple act of flipping a switch to get light in a room.  And most don't realize that when the light burns out, they can simply replace it with a new bulb.

When those timid but smiling faces answered their doors, their rooms were often dark and the symbolism made my heart ache.

Living in a world of darkness when the One true source of light was just a prayer away.

In a universal language we smiled back and shared the love of Jesus.  There's so much more I want to tell you, friends.  Moments that are forever etched within me that I need to put into words.  For now, I'll thank you for the prayers you said for us on this trip.  They made an impact more than you may ever realize.


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