It’s raining. I (Amy) am sitting in the church basement, with music flowing from the sanctuary upstairs where team members are putting the finishing touches on the painting work. Tori and Mikki are painting a mural to go at the front of the chancel. Such giftedness among us.
The evening devotions continue to be a time of enormous blessing, encouragement and joy. The music that Ross, Miles, Shane, and Patti have been sharing has been inspiring. The sharing and reflecting upon scripture and God moments has been flowing. Sue Thompson led us yesterday in reflecting upon Luke 10: 1-28. The emphasis was on Jesus’ words in v.23-24 to the seventy who returned from the mission field: Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desire to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.
I know for my husband Ray and I, we have been seeing some amazing things. On Monday, my father called to say that he had rear ended someone with our van while taking the kids. Everyone is fine. On Tuesday, my sister called to say that my mom was in the hospital after an especially strong seizure (she has a seizure disorder). She is home now after an MRI and some narcotics. The team has surrounded us with prayer, support, and encouragement. We have reflected upon how doing the Lord’s work can result in the enemy working hard to try to distract us. A verse from our first scripture of the week has been flowing through my mind: Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong(2Cor.12:10) I feel like we are gaining a deeper understanding of Paul’s teaching.
Ross and Miles have been inspired to write songs. They have been up every day 5a.m. to compose. Ross wakes up from needing a pen to write down lyrics. We are gently roused from sleep each morning by the sound of guitar cords drifting up the stairs. I can’t wait to hear the fruit of their labor; hopefully in the sanctuary we have been working on and sharing devotions in.
We continue to be grateful for the ways this team has come together so well. Everyone’s gifts are being well used. Our relationship with one another is beautiful. I can feel God knitting us together.
The pastor of this church says she wishes we could have seen the sanctuary before the previous team began the work. They spent a day and a half just spackling and sanding over the holes. She also said the congregation of 30 is feeling very energized by the work being done here. I know it has been energizing us.
We read in the paper today that a neighboring UMC is being decommissioned (closed). This particular church basement of Kingfield UMC is the home of a Montessori school during the school year. This is one of two churches in town, within a stones throw of one another. It strikes me that without this small church, this community would be without significant blessings. Not only is the site of the Montessori school, it is the site of a feeding ministry, as well as the birth place of the Economic Ministry we are working in, serving multiple counties in this rural, poor region.
The folks on staff at the economic ministry here say that the past five years have not been good ones from an economic perspective. Several factories have closed, including a toothpick factory and other lumber related jobs. These were the kind of jobs that paid a living wage and offered benefits. Folks who used to donate to the Economic Ministry are now coming in need of its services.
The team is coming down the home stretch of site #2 led by Rick Squier. They are completing the deck for Thelma. She has been watching their progress with joy, moving fromwindow to window in her home to watch. When Miles up looked yesterday, he startled and amused to see her standing in the bathroom window watching.
The third site is working well toward the ramp for Grace. Rleationships with all of the folks at all three sites (the most important thing) are going well.
And we have been laughing. Every day, every meal, is filled with the kind of laughter that makes me breathless. God is so good.