Mission trip was planned. We would drive down Sunday, work Monday through Friday mudding and sanding drywall on a house, and come home again on Saturday. We would have a free afternoon on Wednesday and enjoy the Kemah Boardwalk.
We knew what we were doing; the timetable, what we were eating, where we were staying, and we were ready.
However, God had many surprises in store for us!
God knew we were going to be in Houston for the first large tropical storm since Hurricane Harvey. He knew we would have the blessing of volunteering at the Food Bank - serving the children, youth and teachers of Houston on Monday due to the rain and potential flooding at our original worksite.
On Tuesday, God knew the joy we would feel to get to work on the house we were paired with, and He knew being comfortable with our work would allow us to exceed even our wildest expectations throughout the rest of the week. He knew that despite our original ideas, working in a house that looked a lot nicer than most of our own homes would teach us about humility, compassion and give us just a hint of how God sees each and every one of us.
But we also experienced the need of stepping back and letting God take control. God had many surprises in store for us, but we didn’t know that our words of caution to be as flexible as possible be would prove to be necessity.
Since we have gotten back, I have reflected on Philippians 2:13,
“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure,”
and let me tell you this trip was truly God’s good pleasure. We grew closer as a group and closer to God through chopping pineapple and sorting school supplies, through mudding and sanding, and through the many crazy adventures along the way.
We are all coming back with stories of doing just a little bit to make a house a home again, stories of constant rain that kept things cool and allowed us to use some creative thinking, and stories of how we were touched by everyone we encountered. But most importantly, I think about how many reminders I am bringing back from this trip of how God worked in us, sometimes despite of us, for his good pleasure.