It’s only Tuesday moring and the week has been full already.
Eighty-eight of us made the trek from Massachusetts to Mississippi, thanks to three different flights on Southwest Airlines. We over came storms and schedules, but even under the best circumstances moving ninety people around is cumbersome. Sunday we worshipped with the folks here at Calvary Baptist Church in Jackson. During the rest of the day we took some time with our three church groups to get to know each other. On our first full day of work yesterday, we sent fifteen people to the Gulf Coast to work on a house, put a bunch to work helping with Vacation Bible School here at Calvary, and the rest went to work cleaning and repairing stuff around the church.
Calvary is an historically white church in inner city Jackson that has made a commitment to stay and minister in the city even though most of the white folks have long since move to the suburbs. Their commitment to incarnate the love of God to their neighborhood has not been lucrative. They struggle to pay the bills even as they feel more and more committed to the task to which they feel called. Yesterday afternoon, Linda, the missions minister, took about twenty of our group on a Prayer Walk through the neighborhood, which means the group walked, met the folks in the neighborhood, and prayed for and with them. We were the ones who came back most changed by the world we saw and the people we met.
Today, three vanfulls went to the coast and the rest of us stayed to do VBS and continue working around the church to do things they can no longer afford to pay a custodian to do. We are tired, but it’s a good kind of tired. We are energized and focused. We feel alive.
We are facing needs we don’t know how to meet, and we feel challenged.
We came thinking we were the givers, and we are receiving.