Today as in the past couple of days started in the kitchen with our time of devotion with Theo and Jim which usually consist of a lesson in geography from a country which we have students in the current session followed by a short discussion, scripture to focus on for the day and prayer. It is hard to describe how important this has become to set up our day. Along with three other godly women that I have been blessed to serve with in the kitchen we prepare food for our students, staff, long term and short term workers this equates to about 12 tables of food. There is much work to be done in order to accomplish this but I have never felt such joy. Today I was delighted to meet one of my prayer partners who came up to me and with very broken English took my hands in hers, looked in my eyes and thanked me for the prayers and that she had felt them daily. I felt so thankful to have been in that moment with this young women who I know will be spreading the word of God with those who need it the most in what seems at times to be a very dark world.
I am blessed,
Today is Friday (I think…time has little significance on a mission trip!), and it feels like we are really settling in as a team. I’ve been working on the maintenance team so I get to be outside everyday at Haus Edelweiss. From raking leaves to picking up chestnuts, cutting back flowers that will come back and welcome new students next spring, and removing mulch from the rose garden for the winter, all has been done in the name of Jesus. I’ve sat at a dinner table and hosted a group of five Hungarian Christians and when I apologized for not speaking their language they hugged me and loved on me. This is why we do what we do on these trips! We share the love and forgiveness of Jesus and it causes us to love each other, no matter what language we speak.
Some may wonder where doing maintenance work fits into missions. We were told this week that without volunteer short term mission groups coming in from April to November and doing housekeeping, maintenance, and cooking that it would cost TCM $300,000 more dollars out of their budget to hire outside workers. That’s $300,000 that can now go towards educating students to return to countries like Ukraine, Moldova, Czech Republic, Poland, and other Eastern European countries to take the message of Jesus back to their people. Don’t get me wrong, that money is important, but shared conversations at the dinner table, worshipping together in different languages, shared hugs, and laughs together because we can’t pronounce each others’ names are priceless! I’m so thankful for a church that encourages these trips. I’m exhausted. I’m stretched. And I’m growing.