Each year the First U.P. Church of Crafton Heights sends a team of adults to engage in service and partnership in mission with sister churches in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. This year, our congregation has “tithed” itself: our average attendance is 120 on a Sunday morning, and we’ve got a dozen adults from our congregation (and our friend Jack from a neighboring worship community). Tuesday marked the second day of work, and we saw a couple of annual trends come to pass.
For starters, I got lost driving the van to the work site. It’s about 25 miles away, across a grid of Texas flatland replete with matching HEB stores, Texas Tire shops, Whataburger shops, and an incredible number of billboards… I had driven there once, in a convoy, in the rain… so it’s not surprising that I got lost – and, in fact, I generally do on the Tuesday of these trips.
Later in the day, Joe K. and I were talking and I said, “Yeah, I had a bit of a meltdown and got really frustrated; one of the team could see this happening and took me outside and prayed with me for a moment until I got my mind right…” Joe said, “OK, well, that generally happens once a trip. Nice to get it out of the way.” And we talked about the fact that these trips have a rhythm to them…
The rhythm today was mostly good. Most of the day, most of our team had meaningful work to do and pleasant company in which to share it. We primed and painted like nobody’s business; we tiled and hung doors and caulked and plumbed; we met the homeowners and rejoiced at their delight in the progress on the house; we were served an amazing lunch by our friends Grant and Donna from the First Presbyterian Church of Mission; we had a delicious dinner prepared by Chef Joe and finished with another study on the theme of “A Different Kind of Hero” as we read through another portion of the Gospel of John… Yes, it was a good day. Here are a few photos to help convey a portion of the truth we shared.
We didn’t get everything done that we’d have hoped; but we spent good time together; we laughed and we prayed and we just enjoyed our time with each other… We didn’t finish anything, really. But we worked. And we were worked on. It was a good, good day.