For the fifth year in a row, folks from the Crafton Heights Church are privileged to travel to Mission, TX for an Adult Mission Experience. In recent years, we have formed partnerships with The First Presbyterian Church of Mission and Solomon’s Porch Church in San Juan. This year, we will work with these groups to finish a home that was begun by the First United Methodist Church of Port Lavaca, TX a couple of months ago. More about the work and that aspect of the mission tomorrow.
For starters, we had to GET to Mission. In every other year, that’s not been a problem. However, leaving Pittsburgh in a snowstorm necessitated a de-icing procedure that stretched to nearly two hours…which means that we missed our connecting flight out of Atlanta, which means that we arrived in San Antonio five and a half hours after we anticipated…Leaving San Antonio, we encountered a horrific accident on I-37 that closed the roadway to traffic and cost us a little better than an hour.
We quickly forgot about that, however, when we stumbled upon the Crossroads Bar-B-Que in the little town of Alice, TX. We were greeted by the owners, who prayed with us and celebrated our safe arrival in Texas and served us an amazing plate of food. We also met a local celebrity while there!
On Sunday, we worshiped with the early service at the Presbyterian Church, and then visited the later service at Solomon’s Porch. We heard two encouraging, challenging, thought-provoking and direct sermons on “loving our neighbors” and “coming together in Christ”. We sang some songs we knew, and learned others; much of the second service was conducted in Spanish; and both congregations made an effort to send us on our way with food and drink! The fellowship was warm and worship was a blessing.
One of the most important things about the first on-site day in Texas is getting acclimated as a team to each other and to our environs. One of the best places to do so in this area is at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge which sits right along the Rio Grande River and the Mexican Border. For several hours this afternoon, we had the chance to break into smaller groups, or even sit alone for a while (we were together in cramped quarters for a loooooooong time yesterday) in the beauty of a cloudless sky and 82° temperatures. Yes, “suffering for the Lord” never felt so good. We wandered the trails, sat by the ponds and appreciated the gift of warmth and life.
Everyone is healthy, the “chemistry of the company” appears to be in fine shape, and we are eager to see what God has for us tomorrow.