Friday, December 23, 2005

Proud to be a dog!

So I just got back from two trips.

The first was a Mission Trip/ Vacation. We went to Maryland to help a former pastor of mine that is now over Mid-Maryland church planters.

Matt accompanied on this trip and was a great help. We got there on Thursday night. We left early so we could miss a storm that was coming through that night.

Friday Joel took us on a tour of the area and told us about Howard County. It is the third most affluent county in the nation so reaching the needs of the community is very different.

That evening we went to Medieval Times and cheered for the Red and Yellow knight, but the loser died on us.

Saturday we went and helped a church with their community outreach by playing games with the children and presenting the story of Christmas.

Later that day we went to Baltimore. I hate Baltimore. There is nothing in Baltimore for fine upstanding people. We got lost in the ghetto for thirty minutes and I really thought I was going to be killed. We got our tails out of there as fast as possible.

Sunday we to church with the Amy Rainey and it was one of the coolest Sunday School classes that I've ever been in. We went to Washington D.C. but only spent about 30 minutes at the Smithsonian. That night we presented the Armor of God for a children's group. We were supposed to leave Monday, but decided to stay a few extra days to do some fun stuff.

Monday we went to Washington again. That was cool though we spent way to much time on the Metro.

Tuesday was the kicker. We had heard that NYC was only three hours away so of course our first thought was Rent on Broadway. So we left about 7 am and arrived about noon. I now know why New Yorkers cuss so much. I think I handled myself pretty well for a first timer in NY traffic though.

We had to pay 30 bucks for parking and like $50 for all the tolls. If you haven't figured it out we are really pushing our luck for money. we find the theater and find out that they have a lottery for tickets that night for $20 tickets. We figured it was worth the risk. So we spent the day walking around NYC and Matt made a comment about wanting to be in a television audience and a second later (literally) we heard a guy looking for folks to be on DaySide on Fox News. I got to ask a question and we just had a blast.

We went back to the theater at 5:30. And we won the lottery. Not only were the tickets $20 they were also front row. It was freaking awesome. It was probably one of the best days of my life.

We drove back to SC on the day the ice storm hit apparently we brought it back with us.

Thursday morning I left for Mississippi with Baptist Collegiate ministries for some Katrina relief. We left the normalcy of South Carolina and entered a whole other world. We couldn't see anything as we got their at night, but when we stepped outside the next morning the devastation was clear.

It was as if Katrina had just come though that night. On every house was spay paint. Some read contaminated, unsafe, looters will be shot, State Farm killed Santa, do not enter, and each had the number of victims on it. The county lost about 80 people.

The first day I signed up to work on a toy distribution crew. That didn't work out so we tried to help distribute furniture.

The next day I went with a crew to clear off two lots then we went and help a team finish gutting a house. We prayed with the family as we left.

Sunday was a day off I went with some folks from the Citadel and College of Charleston to their BCM ministers ordination in Baton Rouge. For some reason we went to the mall a week before Christmas talk about a horrifying experience. Baton Rouge is listed as one of the worst towns in the nation.

It was the first ordination I had been to I hope that I can be a man that people will speak as highly of as they did of Peter. It was truly inspiring.

Monday we started the gutting of two houses. We got to work with this cool 83 year old man, Norman. He even helped us gut his house. He was dancing and joking the whole time we were throwing away everything he owned. That was really remarkable seeing all the joy that people had and learning what was really important. We went back the next day to finish up. It was good to know we had finished what we started out to do.

Wed. I stayed behind to help with housekeeping. I felt kind of bad because we were finished really early while everyone else was out working. When another group got back I went out with them to pick up trash. We stopped by a park one of our groups had built and played a while. We were walking by a catholic school and helped them carry some new white boards in and they let us go up in their bell tower it was a great view.

We stayed up all night that last night fellowshipping and playing games. I really hated to leave. I met a lot of awesome brothers and sisters in Christ.

To all you thanks for your encouragement. I want to especially sent a shout out to Matt, Cliff, and Dave. You guys truly embody Christian brotherhood and freely accept other brothers into that fellowship.

Clutter you are awesome girl stay unique. And Roger you may not be a "blooming Calvinists" like myself, but you're still pretty cool.

Thanks for organizing the trip Chad you did a great job and I know God was glorified through all of it.

When you go into an area like that it can be really overwhelming, but always remember that it is on God's strength and His mission we do our work. One verse really came to life for me over the last week. Ecclesiastes 9:4 "Anyone who is among the living has hope--even a live dog is better off than a dead lion." Those people knew what hope was. They had lost everything, but they were alive and had hope.

I also learned a lot about myself as well. We look at the heroes of the bible like Abraham, Moses, Paul, and Peter and think wow those are lions of the faith. Those are the people I want to be like.

Then if something happens and we get depressed and we think their is nothing we can do. We go into areas like Mississippi's disaster area and look at awe and think about what in the world we should do. We feel helpless. We feel like dogs, but here is the thing. We may be a dog, but at least we're alive. We can do something. Those that have come before us may have done amazing things but they ain't doing them any more. They're dead. They have done all they can do. But now its our turn. Now we do what we have to do. We are the dogs of today, but we're alive. We can do something and so we must.

Don't look at those others and think I'll never be like that. Look at the others and think I can learn from that. Do what you can then praise God you could do it.

No comments: