This is Cooper's second year and he absolutely loves, loves, LOVES the people down there. He is
One of the desires of the trip is that not only do they grow their relationship with Christ but also that they grow as a grow as a group. Sometimes, especially with folks that are used to having phones as a part of every day life, that can be hard. The leader of their group ask that they unplug for the trip. [Not going to lie, last year was very difficult not hearing from Coop at all. I mean, if you've EVER been around him for longer than 10 seconds then you know he isn't every quiet at home. When he isn't here, though it isn't quiet by any stretch, his voice is missed.] I was more prepared this year for just being content [and a tiny bit nervous] at knowing that God is keeping him, Lauren, and the entire group safe. As an added bonus, they are using the church's blog as a way to post pictures of what they are doing. [And to be honest, it did this mom's heart a world of good to see a couple of pictures of that sweet baby boy's face. How I love that kid!]
Another sweet child that I know is also off serving the Lord in a very far away place - Thailand. [I am praying hard for these two girls but I am praying super hard for their parents. That is a llllloooooonnnggg way to send your child!] I know that both of these young ladies are very excited to see what God has in store for them as they serve in Thailand. They will actually be there for 4 weeks. [Again, I am praying for safety, endurance, and some parents that are anxiously awaiting the end of these four weeks.] You can follow their adventures at this blog. [And I LOVE how she sign's off with the words, "Dream Big" That is exactly what God is asking us to do for Him.]
My favorite coach [and new favorite assistant principal] also just returned from a mission trip in Spain. I am anxious to hear all about the trip and how God moved and worked with this group of 10 men. [Just as a side note, it is also totally cool how God will even use American fútbol as a way to spread the gospel. Wow.] I would love to share some pictures and stories about his trip but since returning home last night he has been semi comatose. As soon as he catches up on his sleep I will post more about his trip.
Molly has a friend that spent the first 5 weeks of her summer in Sweden, sharing the love of Jesus. The youth from our church, along with MANY other youth from our area, are serving or have served in communities all over the south through MFuge. Molly is a camp coordinator with CCC. These groups are also serving through missions in areas all over NC.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
Isaiah 6:8 (ESV)
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
And be led forth in peace;
the mountain and the hills before you
shall break forth in singing,
"For you shall go out in joy
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
What I think is even cooler about these people is that most of them are high school and college aged students. They are the next generation of believers and they are following The Great Commission:
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe al that I commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
I'm going to be honest, when I was in 16, 17, 18, even in to my 20s, I wasn't a bit interested in anything but what I wanted to do. [And to be even more honest, I had no clue what that even was at the time. I eventually figured it out. Later than sooner, according to my father.] These young people are picking up and flying around the world, literally, all in the name of Jesus....to serve others. For several of the ones I mentioned above, this isn't the first, second, or even third trip but one of many. And these are just folks I know.
But [nothing good ever comes after using the word "but"] God doesn't always ask us to fly to Thailand or Spain or Costa Rica or even drive to western NC. [Let me preface this by saying that when I'm using the word "you" I am including my own self too.]
He might be asking you to keep the nursery at church.
He might be asking you to teach a Sunday school class.
He might be asking you to volunteer at the local soup kitchen or food bank.
He might be asking you to visit the shut-ins in your church.
He might be asking you to invite someone else to church.
The mission field is wide open and God needs us everywhere.