My family and I just returned from our Salkehatchie summer mission trip in South Carolina. It’s always amusing to see the look on people’s faces when we tell them where we went. When you say the word mission trip, people picture far off places like Haiti and countries in Africa.
But, my family has discovered a deep need for help just one state over from where God has planted us.
My daughter and I were assigned to site 1 this year and were blessed to meet a Godly woman, named Ms. Barbara, with a beautiful, quiet spirit. I found the story of how God led us to her incredibly inspiring.
Ms. Barbara, is a high school custodian. If you know anything about how schools work, then you know that custodians are some of the hardest working, most underpaid people you will ever meet.
She had broken her foot on the job and was out of work. Her goal was to heal and go back for one more year and then retire. That fact alone impressed me. She could have easily retired on disability, but that was not how she wanted to go out.
She desperately missed the teens she was in constant contact with, (another reason for a medal in my book!) I later learned that she often attended basketball and football games to support some of the high school kids who had parents that could not attend, for whatever reason.
I also learned that on most Saturdays, she was not home for part of the day because she was opening the weight room for one of those kids she was mentoring.
But, God was at work.
One Saturday, our camp director and site leader were looking for a house to work on. They felt led down a particular road. They ended up at a house badly in need of a roof, but with “No Trespassing,” signs in the windows. But, the Holy Spirit is not deterred by man’s warnings. They cautiously got out and knocked on the door.
Ms. Barbara had her sister with her and answered the door. She said she had a good feeling about them and welcomed them in. Our site leader immediately noticed the “Last Supper” carving, hanging on the wall. They knew they were in the right place.
They talked about what we do at Salkehatchie Summer Service. She told them they were an answer to prayers and shared some other repairs that her home needed.
When I spoke to Ms. Barbara later, she told me that she had been praying for help for a long time about her leaky roof and had become discouraged, but that God had told her someone was coming. He just didn’t say who.
The fact that it was teenagers, just made her day, since she had a soft spot for them and missed being around them.
As we repaired her home last week, I learned a lot from Ms. Barbara. I learned about tireless faith. I learned about waiting on God and I learned about His perfect timing.
In the end, Ms. Barbara helped me as much as I helped her. She was an inspiration. Perhaps you needed some inspiration today.
Have an awesome day!