Hey people it’s G-Baby. Day 5 of our trip has just come to a close. So out of will (and a little by force of Kerstin) I’ve decided to blog about it. [Kerstin’s note: I would use the word request instead of force, but whatever. J ]
It is always a great treat to go to a different church and experience the way they bring praise to the Lord and share His good works. The folks at Crossroads Church invited us to be a part of their worship team on Sunday. I believe there were a total of 20 people on their stage which is a little bigger than ours at Adventure. Needless to say it was crowded. Worship was fantastic; we had 5 guitars, 3 drums, 2 pianos, 1 synthesizer, and about 9 singers. The best part was that they played some of the same songs that we play at our church, and that was a huge reminder of just how big God is, and proof that all churches are combined to make the body of Christ, even though we aren’t always in contact with each other. I think at times a lot of us forget that. I know I forget all the time, but days like these in some way remind me that I am not alone, and that our church is not alone, and the mission we try to accomplish for the same God, is not one we have to accomplish alone.
After that our team did the Lifehouse Skit. As always, it was extremely heart-warming but had most people in tears. After that, Olivia shared her testimony. She had talked about what it was like to be born in a Christian family where her father built a remarkable legacy with the Lord. She continued to say that her father had died when she was in seventh grade, right when she needed him most. She talked about what it was like to seek God in the middle of her storm, and her journey with overcoming the loss of her father. Olivia’s willingness and openness to share her story to a room full of people she’d never met or talked to before was really inspiring to me. The strength and courage it takes to do that is paralleled by little else in this world. I can’t wait until I get the opportunity to share mine. I hope it hits people like Olivia’s did. To see the amount of people come up to Olivia and say that her testimony helped them understand and recover from the death of a loved one. Like all of us, she has a remarkable back story, and a tough one. However, all of our lives and all our stories come together to stand as a testimony to the good work that the good Lord has done, and is willing to do for everyone.
Then the worship pastor came up to speak. He talked about how his wife had a disease where her immune system would attack her eyes, and how she was slowly losing her sight. It got so bad that she couldn’t get her license renewed. He talked about how for twelve years they prayed for healing, and they asked other people for prayer, they still had the hope and faith that God would heal her. But two years ago they had given up hope, they were beginning to accept the reality that this would be something that they would have to live with. They tried one last time, and Joe, the pastor speaking, had asked some good prayer friends to pray for this tiny, expensive bottle of medicine to work. And it did. With 6 months of treatment, her eye sight had returned to the point that with glasses she would be able to drive again. It’s now been 9 months and that tiny little bottle they received 9 months ago still hasn’t run dry. He came to a point where saw that God always provide healing, but he won’t always heal what you’re asking him too. When his wife was almost blind, grocery store outings became a family event, he was the one picking up and dropping off the kids. God had used this to heal the selfishness and pride in his life. He used to heal the relationship between him and his wife, but also the relationship between them and their parents. I was reminded of my mom as I heard this story. Now that mom’s back has been healed, I wonder what God had healed in her life before he healed her back. I doubt I’ll ever understand how God works or why He works the way He does, but I do know that everything He does is for my good. For our good.
On mission trips there is usually always a day in which everybody breaks down. That was today. Everybody seemed to be either really snappy or really sad. But I love the way that Aaron put it. He said, “I don’t think people are in worse moods. I just see people becoming more self-centered.” He was right. I remember feeling just like I deserved things, and I was wondering what God had planned for ME, and how things would affect ME. Everybody was short tempered, and things were just getting worse.
Today also happened to be Seth’s last day with us. He had to go back to work, but before he left he had called a meeting for the entire group. The last few days his quiet times had consisted of asking the Lord about each and every one of us. The last 4 hours of the night consisted of Seth telling us the things he had heard. He told all of us something different. For some it was the power their words held, for others it was the vulnerability in which they lived their lives, and reminding them that vulnerable is not another word for weakness. For me he called me a friend - steadfast and loyal. No words could have spoken to my heart any better or clearer. Right before Seth had spoken to me I was feeling down, I had made a mistake with Bj and I was just feeling like an awful person. What he said had lifted me from that dark place. After he had spoken to me, I was grateful that Seth was a part of our team. I imagined what the night would have been like if he wasn’t there. As we spoke about Seth many of us were in tears, and as Seth spoke to us he was in tears. We were told about how Seth and Bj had met for the first time in a Denny’s at midnight two years ago. All the anger that was held in our hearts toward the group and toward our selves, melted into sadness. And when we let that sink in and cried out in our sadness, and in our pain, God took that moment and brought healing into all of our lives. As the healings came and the chains fell, our sadness turned to rejoicing. As our night concluded and Seth left, we just hung out and had conversations about our days, some consisted of apologies (I know a lot of mine did). Other conversations consisted of what had just happened. As bedtime approaches you can see the same exhausted but joyful face on all of us. Goodnight all sleep well. We all can’t wait to see your faces when you see how much we’ve changed. It is unfortunate that I can’t tell you all of the stories right now, but remember...
“Good things come to those who wait”.