Traveling to Guyana – March 6 & 7

How are these words for the beginning of a mission trip?

“LET ME HELP YOU through this day. The challenges you face are far too great for you to handle alone. You are keenly aware of your helplessness in the scheme of events you face. . . . So, consider it all joy whenever you are enveloped in various trials. These are gifts from Me, reminding you to rely on Me alone.”                              Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

I must be honest and say that when I read this devotion this morning on our first flight, I thought “Please, Lord, don’t let this be a sign of what’s to come today”!

Just a little trial – one that teams have encountered before – checking all of those containers! I lost count of how many we checked but somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 footlockers and clear plastic tubs, filled with clothes and medicines for the children in the orphanages, t-shirts and flipflops for the homeless and much more.

The personal trial was shifting our clothes around so that our carry-on luggage was within the weight limit. There’s nothing like moving your “unmentionables” around in the airport lobby for all the world to see, trying to lose some weight in the suitcase. But never fear! The solution: empty plastic tubs to throw more stuff in and then duct taping them shut. Duct tape always works!

And everything worked out! The ticket agent who weighed all of our suitcases, backpacks, tubs, and foot lockers showed grace when we were close enough to the right weight.  His stern demeanor softened as he worked with us and in our final moments at the Miami airport, he was still smiling as he scanned our boarding passes for our final flight.

Grace point: when we show grace to others, they are more easily moved to show grace to us.

A shout-out to our great leaders: Already I’ve seen the tremendous gifts of organization and planning from Jeff and Melissa Butler who put this trip together.   I knew that they were hard workers but let me just say: they work HARD!

Thank you, Jeff and Melissa, for leading us!

Another thank you for the day: Thank you to Bill Upchurch who arranged 2 vans that picked us up in Fort Lauderdale (with all of our stuff) and took us to the Miami airport. This shuttle helped to keep the cost of the airline tickets down. Thank you to Bill, Dave, Scott and Darryl, Scott’s young son, who loaded and drove us.   Darryl has the Guyana t-shirt to prove it!

Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Lord, give us your eyes. May we see You in everyone we meet. May people see You in us!

One more thing – a “God-wink” (as my friend calls it)today:

Closing scripture from Jesus Calling today – I found it particularly fitting for a day of flying!

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. Your right hand upholds me. PSALM 63 : 7 – 8

 

Guyana Trip Itinerary

Friday

3:00 pm – Leave Wilmington for Raleigh

Saturday

6:15 am – Flight to Fort Lauderdale

Church shuttles team to Miami

3:15 pm – Flight to Georgetown, Guyana

8:45 pm – Arrival

Sunday

Church

Visit to Homeless Shelter

Visit to Joshua House

Feeding the Homeless

Monday

Devotions

Work at Hope Home

Visit to Phoenix Home

Visit to Ruimveldt Home

Tuesday

Devotions

Work at Joshua House

Visit to the Red Cross Center

Wednesday

Devotions

Work at Joshua House

Church in Victoria – Pastor Trish preaching

Thursday

Devotions

Work at Joshua House

Visit to Holy Family home

Friday

Devotions

Work at Joshua House

Feeding the Homeless

Saturday

10:30 Flight to Miami

Shuttle to Fort Lauderdale

7:55 pm Flight to RDU

Arrival at RDU – 10:00 pm

Home to Wilmington

Praying, Packing and Ready to Go!

This past Sunday, our Guyana mission team was commissioned for the trip leaving Wilmington on Friday, March 6.   Pastor Tim Reaves laid hands on the team members, praying for fruitful ministry and traveling mercies. After the service, we enjoyed chili from the Youth Chili Cook-off and then onto the packing.

We were overwhelmed by the generosity of folks donating children’s clothes, flip-flops and T-shirts. All of this generosity then needed to be packed into the foot lockers. And we did it! 19 foot lockers – our checked luggage!

Please be in prayer for the team: Jeff Butler, Melissa Butler, Miles Butler, Mike O’Neil, Derick Allen, Pat Everett, Tony Brigman, Will Archer, and Trish Archer

 

 

 

 

More in the Dental Chair

Questions in the dental hygienist’s chair sometimes go beyond “do you floss every day?” Occasionally they are a little more unexpected – like “do you ask your congregation for topics for sermons?”

Umm . . . wasn’t expecting that between rinse and suction.

After I stumbled around for an answer (which was “uh, not really”), I replied: “why do you ask?”

Hygienist: “Well, I just wondered if, in light of the tragedies of this world, you try to offer some kind of answer to the questions of why?”

Me: “Oh, certainly world events both at home and far away inform our messages.” Sounds like a nice and tidy answer, doesn’t it?

Honestly I don’t know what else I said.  Her original question was simple.  Her second question – not so much.

But it made me remember why I answered the call to ministry some 25 years ago. (Has it really been that long?) People want answers.

All of us are searching for answers in this crazy, beautiful world that we live in.  We are all searching for more than just what we see in the media.

I find my hope and my strength in Jesus Christ. I don’t understand why there’s pain and heartache in this world BUT I know that in the midst of this life, Jesus is the One who stands with us, bringing hope and peace.

Jesus is the One who offers more.


Thanks to Noah Archer for the photo used on this page.