Friday Samaritan’s Purse dedicated the home Diane and I went to work on in Long Island, NY. Today they posted a lot of pictures, a few of which we are in. And this latest trip brings back memories of my first mission trip to Buckhannon, WV with Gary and Amanda Nichols as our leaders from the Sistersville First United Methodist Church. And I also think about going to Ghana, Africa; to Fort McKinley UMC in Dayton, OH to help in Project Neighborhood; a couple of trips to New Orleans; many day trips to feed homeless in Huntington, WV; our trip this past March to Haiti, and joining the Elisha Project in May feeding over 100 people on the streets of Providence, Rhode Island. It’s great to look at photos and videos and remember serving Jesus in so many different ways and places. But I know that one day the New York trip with Diane will be fond memories of the distant past like all the others.
And while all those past experiences are great and I love that Diane and I were blessed to be used by God in those places and ways with many friends and even some family, I don’t want that to be the end of my story. I don’t want to get ten years down the road and not have any new experiences or anything new to testify about. I’ll be praying to see if we are to take a group from here at Wesley Chapel to Tom’s River, NJ early next summer. I’m hoping God has another trip to Haiti is in our future. I wonder if God will do something even crazier like have Diane and I lead a group from Wesley Chapel to the Holy Land to see where Jesus walked. And yet I’m most excited when I think about what the Holy Spirit is going to do making new followers of Jesus and helping those who are already here grow closer to Jesus in our time here at Wesley Chapel UMC.
All of this came to the surface for me today because of something I read from Oswald Chambers today. He said if your only testimony is, “Once a number of years ago when I was saved…” then you need to put your hand to the plow and get back to ‘walking in the light’. He said when you quit walking in the light that you then become a sentimental Christian living on your past experiences from when you used to walk in the light.
While I love reminiscing, I love even more the thought of God doing something new – in me, in my family, and in the people He has sent me here to lead.