God, use us for a greater purpose than just building a house. Unite us in Spirit. Move through us mightily.
In May, I took a trip to Puerto Rico with my church, Shoreline City. It was A-MAZ-ING! I have been on many mission trips and this by far was one of my favorites. I know this was primarily due to my supporters and their prayers. One prayer that seemed to echo repeatedly through everyone who prayed was that I would be blessed during this trip. It was quite unusual for me to hear because a) it was so consistent through so many people and b) my desire was to BE a blessing. Yet, lo and behold, I was truly blessed.
From the moment we arrived, our hosts, Paul and Noelle were the best! Actually, spending time with them was one of my favorite. They were authentic. They served us and the community so well. I even loved seeing their relationship! They truly sharpened one another and that was evident in their interactions with us. On the first day, I remember having a conversation with them, and I remember Paul saying, “God doesn’t have any closed doors; they’re al open. He just wants you to walk through them.” That was so important for what I was going through during that time (which was moving to California!) Their words gave me reassurance while I was there and for the future.
“God doesn’t have any closed doors; they’re al open. He just wants you to walk through them.”
We had the privilege of working on two houses. On the first house, the foundation was laid, and we did the inside work and painting. I immediately thought of how Paul talks about us laying a foundation and in a parable that Jesus told about the seeds that fell on good soil. The group that came before us laid the foundation, and we’re coming right behind them to continue to build it up. We’re not laying a new foundation, but partnering together for the Gospel and this work that we are doing is intended to multiply. And another group will do the same as we did with the second house that we laid the foundation for. We’re passing torches and continuing the work.
What I admired most about our trip to Puerto Rico were the people. They were TRULY grateful for everything. One lady made us a gift and we didn’t even work on her house. Her words: “You’re helping my neighbors which is just as good as helping me.” And the woman whose house we finished, Johanny, said, “I was living in a shack and now I’m living in a mansion.” A mansion people! Her house is literally the size of most of our living rooms and she considers that a mansion!
“I was living in a shack and now I’m living in a mansion.”
How truly blessed we are! I always leave mission trips more grateful for what I have. I want to live in that constant state of gratitude. I don’t want hardship or comparison to make me get there, but I want to know that everything God gives to me is a blessing and undeserved.
In addition to the many great things the Lord did in Puerto Rico, I think one of my most memorable moments are the times I got to spend with my team. This trip was prayed for through and through and I know! We were unified and that was such a blessing. I loved hearing the stories and getting to know my teammates. Isn’t it amazing how different we are and yet the Lord still chooses to love each and every one of us? My prayer was to not only minister to the people of Puerto Rico, but also to one another.
It’s great and a blessing to be the hands and feet of Christ to other areas, but I never want to forget to be the hands and feet right where I am. To my friends, my family, my church, my job and my community.
To my supporters, thank you for allowing me to be the hands and feet. There’s so much more I can tell, but we would need a warm cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer) and a face-to-face.
Until Heaven, or sooner,