As I think back on our time together, I realize we didn't do anything terribly extraordinary. We went to the dunes, explored downtown, went to the park, they went to Cedar Point... and those things were really fun, but the things I cherish are the times we were just together, doing life in real time... meeting the neighbors, starting random projects in the backyard, having dinner parties, coloring and puzzling, eating (lots of) ice cream, visiting families, and welcoming whoever came into our home. In the daily motions and simple conversations, Jesus' love was there.
It's easy to talk about missions and ministry and God's work when we're on a special trip - a week in Mexico, two weeks in Albania, or even a month in China. You go with a purpose and expect to see God move, and then you come home (back to reality?) and tell everyone about it. There is nothing wrong with short term missions, but I think we sometimes compartmentalize ministry that way, not making the connection to our everyday lifestyle. Why do our "real" lives not look like they do on a mission trip?
While bro and sis were here, they didn't get a "mission trip" in the common sense, because very little was planned, there weren't programs or official projects, and they didn't have a clue what they would see God do. We just woke up every day with hearts ready and eager to serve the Lord, and prayed for him to keep our eyes wide open to opportunities to honor him. Funny thing is, that is our life here! And they just got to be a part of it for a while.
And you know what the other funny thing is? The things they did with us here are also things they can do in North Carolina. God's called Hannah and Joe and Todd and I to be in Fort Wayne, and he's called Richard and Moriah for this season to be in NC. And he's called you to be where you are. And you can offer ice cream to your neighbors, or invite people into your house, or go visit a new mother, or come up with a project that involves others - whether its a jigsaw puzzle or staining old chairs. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed... how does that verse go? :)