Sunday, July 18, 2010

Excuses.

One reason posts have been light lately (though not the only one) is that I have been away doing domestic mission work. My parish has set up a domestic mission program in an economically depressed area of our diocese. We have been doing this for over a decade and have finally broken out, so to speak, into the wider world. This year we are also supporting an international mission trip for our young adult group, as well as helping other parishes set up their own domestic missions.
The reason I say we have broken out is because when a parish queried the diocese on setting up a domestic mission they we told we were th go to guys in the diocese for domestic mission programs. Interestingly enough, at our mission location we work closely with the local county social services office. The office in a neighboring county has also asked us how to get a similar group to work there.
A lot of hard work goes into the weeks we are actually working. We start planning six to nine months ahead of the first group going. We just got back and we are not truly finished for this year until we do our post trip debrief meeting next week.
God's hand is always in our midst. Weather has never interrupted our work, not even when the forecast has been for huge storms. They always seem to hold off until nightfall, or happen on Sunday (which we, of course, take as a day of rest.) We usually plan each job well ahead of time, often visiting the sites a month before we do our work. This year we received a call with a request to put in a ramp the day we arrived. This ramp allowed a man who has not been able to leave his home for two years to join us for dinner at a local church the night before we left for home. Days before we got the call he didn't even know we existed. Coincidence? The result of a lot of hard work and marketing? Rather I would say that we have simply gotten out of the way and let God work.