We have been home from Hot Springs, Arkansas for a couple of weeks. Our experience individually and as a team touched us in such a way that we are each committed to be a part of next years team - I hope you will join us!
What does it mean to be present in someone's life? Being present sometimes means that you don't say anything - you are just there - serving and being a part of their daily life.
Our team was present in so many ways:
- painting 15 rooms in two cottages - this was a quiet and interactive way for us to get to know the kids
- painting 2 rooms in the administration building
- stripping wallpaper in the conference room
- trimming bushes at Highlands Maternity Home
- spending time with the young women at Highlands
- sorting, hanging and organizing clothes in their donation center
- children's ministry time every evening that involved games, devotions, bowling
- a minor league ballgame on the 4th of July
- going with 4 cottages on two different afternoons to an area amusement park
We ended our time with the staff and kids with an ice cream social at their large pavilion area. Dean and Beth brought the sound system from the gym down to the pavilion, sidewalk chalk (enjoyed by all ages) and bubbles. They have a basketball court right near the pavilion that we cleaned earlier in the week, so it was full of kids playing and enjoying each other. It was even more than we could have prayed for. It was a crazy moment to cry, but that is exactly what I did. As we began scooping the ice cream a song titled: "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts started to play over the sound system - the sounds of the kids laughing and the house parents and staff talking completely overwhelmed me because this song spoke what my heart was saying. At that moment Dean came up to me and asked what I thought of this amazing picture before us and the tears started to flow. We had talked about this ice cream social months ago when we first visited Hillcrest - it is an amazing thing to see the plans and ideas that God speaks to our heart come full circle. To know that we could have even been small part of God's plan in showing His love to these kids and staff this week was an amazing feeling - WHAT AN HONOR FOR OUR ENTIRE TEAM!
One of our team verses for the week:
I will be with you, I will never leave, fail or forsake you.
Read more about this trip at: http://lovereaches.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/being-present-in-hot-springs-july-2012/
** We did make a video of our time at Hillcrest Children's Home. Due to privacy considerations we cannot post it on a blog or social media site. Watch for it in to be in a video loop in the Timberline Cafe soon.
Here is Rascal Flatts - My Wish