Yesterday I posted the first part of the Cunningham Lakeshore trip report. The second half picks up with Monday morning:
Like all missionary endeavors where the work is handed off like a torch, only with hands unseen, it was taking the better part of our morning just trying to figure out where each one of us should be in order to optimize our days. If there was a frustration to be endured, then we hit pay-dirt within our first two hours! And then, of course, God came, right on time! Although not all jobs were defined, some organization was beginning to surface. However, I had yet to find my niche and just as I began to speak to Jesus about this, dear Julie Robie, nudged me and suggested that maybe we could better use our time if I drove us back to the Church property – the “campus” – and prepare lunch for the entire group – 25 of us. I was grateful for a job even if it was feeding a gaggle of folk – clearly not a natural gift of mine. Anyone who knows me also knows that I’m not a cook – I often refer to this task as “fixing” something, like it’s broken! But God had plans for Julie and me, and preparing meals, cleaning out the huge refrigerator, organizing the room of cooking pots and utensils and that huge pantry, became our heavenly assignment. We even made a couple of “go for” trips for our construction team. We embraced it all, literally “dancing” through the next three days.
I was hooked! I found that as Peter and I drove away from Lakeshore on Thursday afternoon, I began thinking of things we could prepare next time; Lord willing He sends us back next year and then again after that. Will He call me to the kitchen again? I don’t know, but this thing I do know, one of my sweetest memories, besides ministering alongside Julie, was meeting some of the dear ones of Lakeshore Baptist Church and having the privilege of taking a hand in mine and praying with a sister; sometimes face to face, and sometimes in her ear; just hugging and knowing that our time together was recorded somewhere beyond time, and I have been enriched and grown by their bravery. Our sisters are Miss Betty (whose home some of our team worked on), Miss Bee, Miss Lynn, Miss Linda and Miss Ruth.
Pastor Don is their gifted Shepherd, and his gift of preaching evidenced itself during Wednesday evening’s Worship. We were told that this humble young man has earned two Master’s degrees and a Doctorate of Divinity degree. I’m quite sure that his formal studies did not prepare him for milling fallen trees off the Church property to be used to construct the floor of the temporary Meeting House and other portions of the standing structures that now make up the whole site.
Our talented team functioned as one in God’s hand, as they worked on two homes, furthering the progress that anyone else could have done but that God reserved just for them with which to be blessed!
I forgot to tell you about Margaret and Jackson Lewis. They travel regularly down from Birmingham, Alabama, to paint, install light fixtures, ceiling fans, and painstakingly collect and deliver furniture; even refinishing a piece when that is necessary to complete the look of the finished room. Margaret said to me that she never imagined that God would thus employ them in their “retirement” – they encourage me to believe and expect God to likewise employ Peter and I for His Kingdom!
Peter is hooked too – albeit we both were glad that we included some muscle relief tablets in our suitcase!
If you read this far, then you have indeed proven yourself sturdy – sturdy enough perhaps to join our little band next year! Pray with us for our brethren there in Mississippi. They will be rebuilding their homes and their lives for years to come.
And not the least – you who filled our Prayer Chart with your promise to pray for us and for this endeavor; we are blessed to have been able to physically labor on your behalf in Jesus’ name as you also labored where God has assigned you to serve Him! Oh, let’s do it again next year!
Loving you with prayers of thanksgiving,
(and Peter too!)
If you did not catch the link yesterday, make sure to check out the Cunningham ‘s great pictures.