Today, I’m writing my final mission trip post. So much I want to say about so many unforgettable memories and experiences. When our team was asked to share at church this past Wednesday, words seemed to fail me…and that’s hard for those of you that know me :). I wish that you could be my eyes and heart for brief moment to get a glimpse of this time and how it has forever changed my life.
First, I could share my new understanding of the gift of hospitality as I marveled at Sean and Jessica Ransom ability to make us feel like family. They added an additional 8 people to their existing household of 5 kids and made us feel like family. They cheerfully answered SO many questions about SO many things, as if it was the first time they heard it….and no question was a dumb one :). They patiently managed the transportation of this team of 8 through the “adventurous” streets of Manila…without a hint of road rage :)….for those reading this,driving/riding in Manila traffic should be added to your bucket list! All I can say is Praise God for our host, Sean and Jessica Ransom…YOU ROCK! and are great examples of God’s love and grace. We love you and the family!
Second, I could share my new awareness of God’s divine providence. Divine providence is defined as the means by and through which God governs all things in the universe. The doctrine of divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. It’s one of those words you often hear in Christian circles but when it is made real and comes to life right before you, it’s truly amazing! Who knew that each of our team would be placed in circumstances that were specific to our gifts and talents and tailored specific for our spiritual growth? God knew and we give Him all the glory for using us for His purpose (Jer. 29:11).
Finally, I could share my reflections about the body of Christ. Race, culture, language, economic status don’t matter in the body of Christ. As believers and followers of Christ, we were graciously placed with a body of believers and are called to look out for one another and stand together against the enemies that would threaten our holiness. (Heb. 3:13). Our Filipino brothers and sisters, did exactly that for us!
So, how do I bring this blog entry to some type of closure? Well, I don’t because I can’t. Because the command of Matthew 28:18-20 is to be fulfilled whether I’m home or abroad. Because as a Christ follower, I must and want to obey my Lord and Savior. Because I know for my life to really mean something, I must surrender it completely to Him. (Rom. 12:1-2).
I long to return to the Philippines to continue the work that God has called me to. I know I have an entire new family of brothers and sisters who are praying with me for this to happen. The bracelet you see pictured was given to our mission team when we went to Cameroon two years ago and I wore it the entire time I was in Manila. I will continue to wear it as a reminder to always pray for everyone I met in this journey and that the Lord will send laborers (Matt. 9:37-38). So for now, we will rest in the comfort of “As the Lord wills”.