Mission Made Possible: Cleaning Up the Mission House
There are few chores more difficult than weeding a flower bed in the summer sun and pulling up stubborn shrub roots that have reached deep into the earth to stake their claim. Okay, maybe cleaning up the dishes after a spaghetti dinner is right up there too! Thank heavens for dish washers!
Over the past several weekends, some thoughtful and hardworking members in our congregation (led by Brian and Kathy Fox) labored diligently to freshen up the landscape around our mission house on Orchard Street. Gregg Wergin sent me a picture of the mountain of foliage and shrubbery that the team pulled up and set by the side of the road. I walked over to the house this week to survey their efforts and was delighted to see the vast improvements they made. This project was in addition to a small group who faithfully comes to get the house ready for guests each time there is a transition. That small group makes sure the floors are vacuumed, the bathroom is clean, and that there are fresh sheets on the bed. Two words come to my mind when I think of these efforts: love and hospitality.
You see, throughout the year, several missionary families come home from their overseas assignments and find respite and a space for renewal in our mission house. It is a ministry Pearce has offered to the Lord’s servants for decades, with the hope that we can remove one more burden from their shoulders and provide shelter. Several months back, we were even able to make a rare exception to the use of the house so that the Suddenly 10 family had a place to live as they navigated through a very difficult transition.
Like your home, this house requires careful attention and upkeep. It needs someone to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. It needs people who will thoughtfully invest their time, and even finances, to maintain this ministry. That is why I thought of love and hospitality. The team who sweat in the sun to make this happen, did it to be a blessing to those who will come and stay in this home. Within the smell of newly laid mulch, with the sight of each planted flower, and each bed with fresh sheets is the message of a loving church family that values hospitality and those the Lord has sent our way. So I want to extend a special thank you to everyone who participates in supporting the mission house ministry with the sweat of their brow or by the generous giving that makes such projects possible!
I walked into the church Monday morning knowing that it was the week of Cave Quest VBS, but I didn’t quite anticipate the amount of energy that would fill this church so early. It was a wonderful sight, seeing kids of all ages trying on their name badges, giggling at the sight of bats and butterflies, and yelling “How did they do that?” as they curiously gazed at the cardboard tunnel that led into one of their classrooms. Everyone could feel the buzz in the air!
As I welcomed parents and kids with the rest of the VBS team, I could also hear the chatter of excited children updating each other on their day. I mostly heard about the class session where they walked on water like Peter, how Pastor Mike was one of the fun characters that did somersaults across the sanctuary stage (pray for Pastor Mike as he recovers), and that cardboard tunnel again! Even I had to try crawling through the cardboard tunnel!
However, what blessed me most was at the beginning and end of each day when I could hear the precious voices of a few hundred kids singing songs of praise and worship to Jesus. That’s what this week is about—JESUS! I am glad we serve a God who invites the little children to come and spend time in His presence and get to know Him. Our Lord is fun, and learning about Him is a joy and an adventure!
I so appreciate this church and the ways you have been praying for our kids and lay ministers this week. I reassure you that the Spirit of the Lord has filled this place with His goodness and is touching the lives of our children. So I leave you with the words of one little boy, who shouted at the top of his lungs to his mom and sisters, “I love coming here and singing Jesus music! Did you hear me singing, mom? And did you see that tunnel?”
One of the great care ministries at Pearce is our Stephen Ministry that provides one-on-one care for individuals in our congregation or community who are facing a life challenge. Each of our Stephen Ministers are prayerfully and carefully selected based on their compassion for others and the gifts the Lord has given them. After significant training and preparation, they are paired with a care receiver, coming alongside them to provide Christian support and love.
These wonderful individuals passionately respond to what Paul exhorts the Galatians to do in Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” That law is love! Throughout the year, I have had the privilege of witnessing how our Stephen Ministers selflessly help to carry the burdens and life-trials of so many.
As you may imagine, such a ministry can be filled with a plethora of serious issues and heavy moments. So this past Tuesday, we took our Stephen Ministry team out for a fun night of mini-golf and go-carting! That’s right, I said go-carting. And I have never seen so many caring individuals carelessly rip around corners and competitively burn rubber off go-cart tires like we did that night! It was awesome!
In addition to the two hours of all you can play mini-golf and go-carting, we gave them brand new t-shirts that say, “Got Care? Pearce Stephen Ministry.” We wore them proudly and even had a few occasions to share about the ministry with people we did not know. I would say the evening turned out to be a “hole-in-one!”