Missouri Mission's Update #3

July 6, 2017

We entered into our day today with a word of caution from Kathy that this day is generally the hardest on mission trips. We have already experienced a couple days of work, but still had a couple more to go. Kathy referenced 1 Corinthians 9:26, and encouraged us to run with a purpose in every step. She also reminded us that we are not shadowboxing (fighting an imaginary opponent). We have a real opponent who probably isn’t too happy about the progress we are making here on the farm. We need to continue to work with a sense of urgency in order to get our work done in the last two days we are here.

What really helps us get through what may often be a difficult task is that we can see the fruits of our labor, literally and figuratively. We had a group pick blackberries today, with some going towards a mouthwatering blackberry cobbler that we had for dinner (and the rest were frozen to use later here at the farm). I am pretty sure there is nothing better than a warm blackberry cobbler (with ice cream!) made from berries picked the same day. Another group continued to freeze peaches that had been picked yesterday, and they also made jam. It is truly inspiring how resourceful everyone is here with what God has provided them.

Another group was sent to the pond to prepare for the baptism and cookout that we will be having on our last night on the farm. I am picturing a mini-Lake Blast, but I imagine that as close as our group has gotten to many of the girls here, the emotions will be magnified tremendously. It will be our last night with the girls, and it is going to be difficult to leave them and this supernatural place.

A couple others on our team continued to work on Mim’s lawn, trucking over the dirt that the sod will go on tomorrow. Another large group spent most of the day weeding and mulching the Teardrop Garden and the Alpha Garden. More of the team worked on a 1952 tractor, and some of the girls received haircuts from Michele.

Construction also continued at the refuge today, and the visible results of all the hard work are emotional. Knowing there is a waiting list for this building has helped to feed that sense of urgency that Kathy mentioned this morning and that each of has felt. Tonight we walked through the area that we have been working on and marked studs, trim, subfloors, etc. with verses and prayers for the girls that will enter these hallways and rooms. We prayed over each room, much like we do at The Vineyard when construction is coming to a close.

When we discussed our day at tonight’s team debrief, there were many emotions about relationships being built on this trip. Some of the girls are not comfortable to work with the men on the trip, but those who have said “We have never met men who are decent. And these men are decent.” Two of the girls even discussed what their future husbands would be like. These are HUGE strides for these girls and is nothing less than miraculous.

To be smack dab in the middle of God’s purpose is humbling and a catalyst for soul transformation. I find it unlikely that anyone on our team will return home without a different perspective on their relationship with God. In fact, a couple of our team members were discussing how they came expecting to pour into those who live here but have had a completely opposite experience. The people here have touched us more than they could ever imagine and it is unlikely that any of us are going to forget our God encounters that come from just stepping foot on the soil that was ordained by Him.


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