I realized over the weekend that it was the two year anniversary of our family jumping out of the safety of the ship and joining Adore Ministries as a missionary family.
There have been so many blessings during this time. There have also been some curveballs named "Harvey". Who thought that our mission would be displaced until further notice and housed at a different parish?
But as we've experienced, God is good and he does provide. Our youth group and events are back in full swing, we are still helping families put their lives back together, and we continue to pray for you and your families for your making this possible.
I started a blog a while back about our Harvey experience but I never finished it. But I wanted to share something that has been on my heart and that I've been speaking about every chance I get: I'm sure you have all heard/read Jeremiah 29: 11 "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope." But it is so important to realize when God is saying these things. He is telling his people about this future of hope while they are in exile! In the midst of such terror it is hard to think about a hopeful future. But what does he tell them to do? "Build houses to dwell in; plant gardens, and eat their fruits. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters. There you must increase in number, not decrease. Promote the welfare of the city to which I had exiled you; pray for it to the Lord for upon its welfare depends your own." - Jeremiah 29: 5-7. In the midst of tragedy God tells them to continue to live and promote life and to keep on keepin on. But we can't do that alone!
Soon after Harvey we had a mission trip group from Hinkley High School work in houses in Dickinson. I was told a story about when they drove into town how one of the students said, "Why are we here? Everything looks fine." But by that time all of the trash for the most part had been picked up. It wasn't until she entered a home and saw all of the walls torn down and all the mold still left behind that she said, "Oh, I get it." Tragedies like hurricanes make getting out of our comfort zones and entering into others' houses and lives easy. Shoot, I could tear out a whole house of walls and never talk to the owner. But God does work through us in these times and we see real love and care for our neighbor. It opens up opportunity to step into the houses of others' hearts and see how they are really doing on the inside. But honestly, that does not impress me. I know as humans we are good. What will impress me is when after all of the sheet rock, furniture, carpet, tile, belongings are replaced and everyone moves back into their homes that the stepping out and into each others lives continues. We continue caring for and reaching out to our neighbors. Instead of just a wave we walk over and ask how each other is doing and really mean it. When our neighbor loses their job, instead of saying well cowboy up, we say "Hey, how about y'all come over for dinner."
Although displaced, our youth group is back in full swing. We continue to aid those affected by the floods. We are looking to the future and striving to loving those right in front of us.