Now that the majority of people are facing colder weather, what better time to share the warmth of God’s love. God has been doing some remarkable things and sometimes it’s difficult to catch my breath, so let me take a few minutes to recap the summer for you.
- 36 people from 6 different churches, ranging in age 9 to 58, comprising 3 mission teams, headed to Arizona, Virginia and Maryland to share love and labor.
- We conducted sports camp and a kids weeklong camp. The teams distributed school backpacks, helped with two community outreaches and performed renovations on a home in Arizona and 2 common rooms at the Peninsula Dream Center.
- A monetary investment in the kingdom totaled $24,720.
- The teams also provided employment for 6 people during 2 of the trips.
- If that weren’t enough, God worked in the hearts of people and we saw 78 first time salvations, 14 water baptisms and 12 Holy Spirit baptisms.
God was working on so many layers during these trips it was awe inspiring to watch. I watched individual’s worldview change as they experienced new cultures. I saw inclusive teams become all inclusive of the new people they met on the teams. I watched youth groups draw closer together and I saw relationships built between team members and the people they met on location. Perhaps some of the most touching moments I was allowed to watch were the relationships that were growing between father and son. As I watched them pray together and share the day’s events or as I watched them work and play side by side, I couldn’t help but think of the relationship that Father God wants with each of us. He wants to be part of our everyday lives. He wants to hear about our challenges, concerns, heartaches and needs as much as he wants to hear about our successes, joys and dreams. When we allow Father God to truly be our father, then we will see our lives become FULL!
Team members weren’t the only ones to feel the presence and power of God over the summer. One of the most powerful moments for me was the day we took camp to the river side and baptized 14 children in water. Each person chose who they wanted to perform the baptism. Some chose their pastor or a parent but for me seeing some of the kids choose a teen team member to baptize them, now that was special. As the entire camp stood on the bank and watched, 13 children and 1 adult made their way into the water where they were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. What a sweet spirit next to that river. What must it have been like or felt like when John baptized Jesus in a river as the people stood on the bank and watched?
Though summer is behind us, who we have become was impacted by the remarkable moments and memories we experienced. This past summer changed lives for eternity and that is something that can NOT be forgotten.