On a recent mission trip that my family attended, we toured two houses in need of repair. My daughter and I felt drawn to one and my hubby and son felt drawn to the other. This, as it turns out, was not by accident.
This was my hubby’s and son’s first trip to a Salkehatchie mission camp and they were not particularly excited about it in the beginning. My daughter and I had talked about it regularly since the year before. Our experience had filled us with such passion for returning and helping others that we found it difficult to contain it.
It’s kind of like when people first come to know Christ and they can’t stop talking about their newfound faith. Those of us who have walked with Jesus for a long time, can find ourselves getting annoyed, if we’re not careful about it.
My hubby and son were growing a little weary of hearing about our mountain top experiences and about the amazing group of faithful servants who we not only worked with, but had come to think of as family.
I prayed all year that God would provide a way for us to return this year and that the men in my family would be as moved and inspired as my daughter and I had been.
Well, you know what they say: “When you pray for rain, you better get an umbrella….”
Orlando, the homeowner, on the work site that my hubby and son were on, had spina bifida and had spent his entire life using arm crutches. He had inherited his house from his parents, but it was badly in need of repair.
It was very dark inside. The carpet was decades old. The kitchen was a loss. There wasn’t a working toilet in the house and the house was covered in years of grime.
Orlando had been waiting for help for years and he was clearly depressed. He didn’t have much to say at all, when our group came through the first time.
But, although he thought he had been forgotten, God was at work.
In the span of five days, his life was changed. A crew came in and scrubbed everything from walls, to floors, to furniture. A new toilet and vanity were placed in his bathroom. He got a washer and dryer and new floors. His counter tops were replaced and walls were painted. He got new carpet.
My hubby headed up the carpet crew and got to spend a lot of time with Orlando. He was incredibly touched by his story. He was moved by the way that Orlando brightened up each day. He was amazed at the way Orlando took more and more pride in his home as the week went on. He was thrilled when Orlando accepted the cross necklace that he offered him.
At the end of the week, each person who attended and worked, was asked to stand up and share with everyone a symbol that demonstrated how God had shown Himself that week.
When my hubby shared his, he began by saying that he had spent the entire week on his knees, dealing with carpet. While on his knees, he saw God in every staple and every tack strip. In short, while on his knees, he saw God everywhere he looked, including in Orlando’s newfound smile.
I don’t think he could have said it any better. Perhaps we should all try it. He’s already talking about going back next year.
Have an awesome day!