One of the most important aspects of our calling as missionaries is that we are doing it as members of our church. We have been in Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church since 2003, and it is a vibrant, loving and living congregation.
The congregation has embraced our missionary plans with enthusiasm. We have a graphic designer among our core team members, who created a beautiful trifold brochure and inserted pledge card for us. We have another friend who works at FedEx/Kinko’s, and gave us a great deal on copying our brochures in full color. We have a realtor who has given us advice about our house, and has also made follow-up calls to ask for pledges for us.
Our brothers and sisters in the congregation have done so much to help out as we prepare to sell our house. My friend Tim Giese is the proprietor of Liberty Carpet Care. He and his sons Andy and Levi cleaned all our horrible Olefin carpets, working a miracle and making them presentable again.
Yesterday, eleven members from five families showed up to help us paint our house. They worked hard, and got a lot done. Three of the dads did a beautiful job of painting over all the messy marks our kids had put on the wall of their 24×24 playroom. The younger men braved the late-morning heat to paint fences and a shed.
I also want to give special thanks to an older member of our parish, Mr. David Kern. He owns a nursery (we get our Christmas tree from him each December 24th), and he volunteered to weed our flower beds. He showed up as we were barking at our kids and trying to get the family ready to rush out the door for Talia’s graduation ceremony, from which we would be driving directly to Nashville, Tennessee for a Whitsunday (Pentecost for you non-Anglicans) deputation visit. When we came back, we were astonished and delighted to see that every thistle and stray piece of grass had been removed from the beds, so that they are ready for new mulch.
I started the month of May looking at my list and wondering how on earth it would all get done — especially with multiple deputation road trips, the last month of the school year, and our oldest daughter’s high school graduation. But now it is eminently doable, thanks to the members of our church. It is as though God said, “No, you certainly can’t get it done by yourselves, so I will make clear to you how much I want your mission to happen, and you will learn a lesson about depending on the other members of the body.” This is a congregation that loves in deeds, not just words. We will be honored to represent them in the Philippines.