But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... Eph. 2:13-14

Sunday, January 15

El es bueno! (a summary of the final four days of the VBS mission trip to Mission, Texas)

I'm sorry that my updates on this trip have been so sporadic! Hopefully you've been following our adventure through Billy's blog, but if not, I'll try to summarize these past few days here and now.

When we last left this thrilling tale, the Bible school was off to a rocky start - and by "rocky" I mean "mass chaos". Everything was out of control, but there was hope for the morning. There's always hope for the morning.

The next night (Thursday) was incredible. Had the first night gone better, we may not have been so impressed with the second, but in context it was absolutely amazing! The kids listened, they participated, they learned, they had fun - it was shockingly wonderful. The change was so dramatic that, even though we had changed the schedule and tried to organize everything better, it was obviously the Lord. We went to bed encouraged and joyful (well, all all but poor Rachel, whose "Flying Chanclas" - the littlest kids - never did shape up completely).

God is amazing. He works things as He so wills, and though it may not seem good to us, it is all working toward the greatest good possible. I'm not skilled in thought, and I'm not very good at expressing what thoughts I have, but it does seem to me that when Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for good for those who are called, it's saying something amazing. The Standard and Creator of goodness Himself has so worked out every second of a believer's life to work together for good!

That being said, let's move on to Friday. On Wednesday, it seemed as though Pandora's Box had been opened. On Thursday, it seemed like it had been closed. On Friday, it was like someone knocked the lid off by accident, and hurriedly replaced it. It started off difficult. We were lacking in volunteers, and the kids didn't listen well for the first activities (Recreation and Snack). When we moved on to the Crafts/Music/Bible Study part, things went a little more smoothly - sometimes. The church was covered in little grains of rice, and filled to the brim with the shouts of unruly young people. But they came from Music singing and from Bible Study eager to tell about the parable they'd learned. All in all, the night was a relative success, but one we prayed we wouldn't have to repeat.

Saturday morning, Billy, Rachel, and I woke up ridiculously early to go see the sunrise at the beach. We loaded up, backed out of the driveway, and realized that we hadn't asked the groundskeeper to open the gate early. He was asleep, and we were locked in until 7AM - by which time the sun was rather high in the sky. Disappointed but laughing, we went back to bed.

Saturday evening Bible School was good. Sure, it wasn't at Thursday levels of perfection, but it was a great improvement on the night before. Throughout this week it really seems like the Lord has been teaching us that nothing is in our control. Using the toughest situations, He blessed us abundantly, and has continued to do so.

Today the kids were great. All we had was Recreation and Bible Study, but they participated admirably. The atmosphere had lost much of its wildness, I think partially due to our upcoming departure. I'm really, really going to miss these people, and I think many of them feel the same way.

And that's about it! Right now we're all packing up so that we can leave by 4AM to try one more time to see the sunrise.

Continue to pray for our team. There are a lot of questions that need answering regarding what to do from here. And I can't wait to come back! I wish I could just take Mission home with me. God is good. He's amazing! He's blessed me beyond my imagination on this trip, and I trust that the decisions we each need to make will be made in His perfect time and way.

To God be the glory!


Frank in Africa said...

It seems clear after the fact, in looking at Billy's photos that God even planned the day for you to see the sunrise. When we desire to behold His beauty He will give us His best at His best time.

Aaron said...

Excellent post Sarahhhh!!! Thank you so much for writing this! You are a great writer!

Scott said...

Good job, Sarah. Thanks for the update! You all were in our prayers the whole time. Great to see God at work -- on the kids, as well as on you all.