Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First Day

Today was unforgettable...we gathered after everyone ate breakfast and unpacked around 11 am...Our family was in charge of the devotion for this morning...Blakely opened us in prayer - Ford and Taylor read a scripture and Clark gave us a little talk on being on GODS team and trusting in HIM. Afterwards Manny went around the room and asked what we are thankful for...most of the responses were pretty predictable...'my family'...but Steve Smith's word was that he was thankful for Ford and his courage to get up there beside his father and read GODS WORD...he was thankful to see when Ford stumbled on a word that he did not know - that he stood tall next to his father and did not waiver or become anxious. It was precious. We too have a HEAVENLY FATHER that we can stand next to and not become anxious. When we stumble, we know that HE is right there beside us - gently guiding us along the way. After our meeting we all gathered and walked down a few blocks to PARDOS CHICKEN for lunch. Simple lunch - rotisserie chicken and homemade potato fries without all the preservatives...they bring the chicken and fries and three yummy sauces to your table. It was quite tasty. The place was packed when we left. After lunch we all went across the street to WONG the grocery store...pretty impressive. We bought TONS of water and snacks and games for the kids we are ministering this week. As we were checking out with all our goods - two grocers wheeled the carts back to our hotel for that was service! 3 pm and we all board a bus heading to a little village...It took about an hour touring through dirt and dusty roads. Images to come later. We arrived with lolly pops in hand to pass out to everyone who came out. I cannot describe this in words...only thing I can say is that it was HUMBLING. VERY HUMBLNG. I got a tour - well some of us had to use the bathroom - so we were allowed in one of the neighbors walked into a dirt floor room - off to the right were two round the bend to a crib and table and underneath the table were a pile of potatoes. The woman motioned us back to the bathroom - outside - no back door - little ducklings and roosters roaming around and around the corner was a cube made out of something a little stronger than cardboard and there it was - the toilet - just sitting on the ground by itself. On a hole - nothing else - HUMBLING - What do I take for granted - wow - my kids were with me to experience this - we will be experiencing this a lot more in the next few days...powerful! Ford and the other kids played soccer out on a dusty field - while the others stayed up on the hillside passing out suckers. After a dusty long ride home and a stop at a local store (somewhat like Costco) to buy food for lunch tomorrow (making sandwiches for 200 kids) we came home to pizza ordered in from Pizza Hut!! I am amazed at how the kids have picked up some new incredible friends...It is a great joy to see everyone laughing and loving each other! Off to bed - not sure how to get this uploaded on to the blog - so just going to email each of you tonight...BLESSINGS!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Taking off...

We are off! 2:30pm On the tarmac at Charlotte Douglass International Airport waiting for instructions to leave for our first leg to Atlanta - our families first mission trip and visit to Peru. We are on board a Delta flight with 24 total participants on the trip (4 have already gone ahead of us). After a 1 1/2 hour layover in Atlanta we are to board another Delta flight for our 7 hour connection to Lima, Peru. We are prayed up too! We had 3 pre-trip meetings where we prayed corporately and it is obvious that at a minimum all of the adults have been praying for this trip if not many of our kids as well. It is in the high 90's as we begin to taxi on to the runway with slight scattered clouds. I feel confident in my associates who I have entrusted the care of my business for the next 17 days as we trek about Peru doing our mission work during the first 7 days and touring the country on our own during the last 10 days. God has been good to our family and I think each member is aware of that. My prayer is that HE draws us closer to Him and that we maintain an attitude of expectation - that He will move in each of our lives. Israel Houghton has said that "expectation is the breeding ground for miracles". I expect a miracle, at least one to be obvious to me. God is the provider and only He knows all the details. Our job is to be obedient to His calling and keep placing our faith in Him daily. Our mission with Samaritan's Feet is to build relationships with those we meet on the trip, spreading the Good News of the Gospel and meeting their needs for shoes (mostly for children). We are trying to earn a right to be heard as those in Young Life like to say. First we must be there on the grounds, second we must take the steps to reach out and be silly for Jesus as Manny, the founder of Samaritan's Feet, continues to tell us. We have heard similar words at Elevation Church when Pastor Craig Groeschel tells us that we need to be fools for God. We must be willing to let the Holy Spirit open us up and expose us as living, breathin,g sacrifices wholly acceptable to the living God. How do we do this? I often ask that question - how do I let go and just let God have His way with me? I pray for this and for Anne and our kids. Blakely, Catherine, Taylor and Ford need this experience to know that they are blessed so much more materially than 99% of the world. But they also need to know that inner joy, peace and humility are the gifts of the Holy Spirit and are available for all in limitless quantities. This will be a great trip! Stay tuned! Clark