Today was our first day of Passport to Missions (PTM)- our middle school mission week. As we did last year, my girls and I are participating with our friends from church. This year, instead of going to West Virginia, we are serving in a variety of local sites. Our group consists of 5 young ladies and 2 adult leaders....one of the adults being my precious friend Sammy who has just finished her freshman year in college and has tons more mission trip experience than me. She is also much wiser than about 75% of the adults I know...you know how some people just "get it?" At just about to turn 19, Sammy just gets it. Anyway, I am thrilled to be spending the week with these six young ladies. Being known as Team B and being an all female team, we have renamed ourselves the Beautiful Babes!
Today the Beautiful Babes kicked off our mission week by visiting Central Union Mission in D.C. We did a variety of office jobs for them, in addition to getting a tour of their facility. Having worked in similar types of institutions back in my social worker days, I can't tell you how impressed I was by their program. In case you are wondering, it appears to me that God is at work with the homeless men in our nation's capital through the ministry of CUM. If the issue of homelessness tugs at your heart, I would recommend looking into this organization for ways that you can support their work.
After we had lunch, we spent the afternoon doing yard work at the home of one of our church's older couples. This precious couple has recently suffered with some health issues that have prevented them from being able to keep up with their large, beautiful garden. The girls worked hard and we were proud of what we were able to accomplish. We were sad that we couldn't completely finish our project, but we were relieved to find out that another group will visit them tomorrow.
During our lunch break mid-day, we were invited to spend a few moments alone with God using a prepared Quiet Time guide that gave us some scriptures, questions and suggested prayer topics. This paragraph was particularly meaningful to me:
Ask God to provide for people that are in need, whether they are homeless strangers, or our church family... God wants you to pray these things with a tender heart. He wants you to be so intuned with Him that what breaks His heart will also break yours. Pray "Break my heart for what breaks yours." When you begin to hurt over the needs of God's children (including yourself,) God will provide the resources you need to make a difference.
That last sentence really stuck with me. When our hearts are tenderized by God, we cannot sit idly by and see suffering and injustice without wanting to do something. Yet, so often, the "something" that we might be able to do seems like so little. I love this verse from Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 36:26 (New Living Translation)
26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
We are trying to teach the kids that having a servant heart matters in this world. That the "something" that they can do...no matter how small...can be multiplied by God to make a difference. You know, a modern day "loaves and fishes" story.
God had the girls fired up today and it was contagious. I can't wait to see what He will do with the rest of our week! If you read this post this week, would you please pray for us? If you read this post next week or in upcoming weeks, would you please pray that we don't forget? That our hearts will stay tender?