Their physical labor will primarily be doing roofing and painting, and minor household repairs. All of this will be done in extreme heat and difficult conditions. In fact, todays forecasted high for Savannah is 112 degrees! But a cool front is coming in (haha) and it should stay in the nineties most of the week. They have been strongly encouraged to drink lots and lots and lots of water, and try to eat something healthy at least once a day.
Most importantly, it is their spiritual labor that is the focus for the week. As our youth minister said this morning during prayer time before they departed, it is just absolutely hard to understand why these teenagers would voluntarily agree to drive hours to get to another city, work in unbearable heat, and repair homes for people they have never met, and will never meet again.
That is why the theme for this trip is to be “set apart”, and by simply getting in that van and heading out, they are already setting themselves apart for Christ. They could have easily stayed home, saved money, hung out at the pool, and socialized with friends, but they chose to spend the week being willing servants. I am so excited for them, not only because of what they can do for others, but for what I know God will do in their hearts while they are doing His work.
Kaitlyn, who is 12 years old, was a little anxious about the trip. She didnt have any girls her age going (most participants were high school kids); she was very concerned about missing an important cheerleading camp that is taking place this week, which means she will have to learn all the routines on her own once she returns; and she will be missing two swim meets.
She had a smile on her face and assured me she would be fine, giving me that look that says “leave me alone mom”, but I could see the anxiousness behind her big blue eyes. As I gave her a hug, I told her that I know God is going to do something amazing through her this week, and that He will reward her faithfulness. I know in my heart she will have a wonderful time, but please keep her in your prayers this week if you think about it.
And for all the kids that are going, I ask you to pray for them. They are a great group of teenagers, with a lot of potential to reach others for Christ, and minister to one another too. This week is not just about shingles and paint cans, but about being a light in the darkness for people who may have lost hope, and for growing in their own relationship with Jesus.
I really wanted to go on the mission trip, but I needed to stay home with Michael, plus they had enough chaperones. As I was secretly wishing that I was loading my luggage into the van and feeling a little left out, God pricked my heart this morning, and I was reminded that I dont have to leave the state, my community, or even my neighborhood to be a light for Christ. Its not about location, its about dedication! Then, when I got home, I received an email devotion today stating just that truth. Gods timing is so perfect!
Philippians 4:19 was the key verse, and it says “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” God can meet peoples needs in lots of ways, including through teenagers on mission trips. But God also uses us to meet the needs of others right where we live. I want to focus this week about illuminating the light of Christ through my every day life, and ask God to bring people to mind who need to hear from a friend, or need to meet a helpful stranger.
My prayer for the week is that each and every teen going on this mission trip will have a divine encounter this week. A divine appointment where they can share Christ with someone, and experience a God-ordained purpose that they didnt know they had.
While I am holding down the fort here at home with my little buddy, who I get to spend a whole week with enjoying mommy/son time, I pray my eyes will be open to see the people God puts in my path, and the wisdom to be His light, when He calls.
Lets focus on being “set apart” for Christ this week together.
Here are a few pictures of this mornings send off to Georgia:
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
Leviticus 20:26 You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.