Just a few weeks ago, we had 2 Shiloh work teams here from Indiana (Our home church, actually!). We now have freshly painted outer walls, a drainage pipe running behind the basement, a mostly waterproof roof (We still have a little more work to do there!), a new place to eat, thanks to concrete floors being poured, and a concrete ramp to drive up and load things for EMMC's, when necessary. Flowers were planted, and the yard cleaned up. Whew! I'm tired just thinking about everything they did! During their trip, we also got our kitchen cabinets and a stove for our quarters. Yippee! It's hard to remember what it was like before we had all these luxuries!
We enjoyed working together, playing together, laughing together, and crying together, and eating lots of great food together (Sorry you missed out, Mike! Oh yeah, I forgot about the banana splits every night!). We enjoyed devotions together, talking together, singing together, and praying together.
On the last night as we said our goodbyes, I remember thinking "this must be what Heaven is like! One great big family reunion, where all our past mistakes and heartbreaks are forgotten, and all we know is the love of Jesus!" Sometimes when we are here, we miss "home," in the U.S., but even more so (when you experience a little bit of what Heaven will be like), we miss Home (with a capital H!) even more! We can't wait for that homecoming and reunion in Heaven!
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." --Revelations 21:1-4
So for those of you who have never experienced a mission trip, I encourage you to come! For those of you who have heard the call and experienced this "little bit of heaven," I encourage you to return! Let's prepare for the Big Reunion! You never know how God might change your life. I know we never imagined where we would be today when we took our first mission trip!
"The primary reason Jesus calls us to servanthood is not because others need our service. It is because of what happens to us when we serve."--John Ortbert The Life You've Always Wanted