Spring Break Report

I rub at my wrist, water washing away the words that have been inked there for the last week.

Overcome
evil
with
good.

Words from Romans 12:21, from the Newsboys' song Elle G.

Good words for a missions trip that is all concrete vision, working to see the kingdom of God come and invade a ghost-steel-town, a drug capital.

So we spend days filling wheelbarrows from a heap of rubble and then filling Gabion baskets with that rubble. That way, when the river floods, it won't cut through the homes of the people who live in the trailer park. We get to know some of those people too -- Chuck, Kelly, Tim, Ed, Brenda, Dick. I spent one day there last year, but there were no faces for me then; I hadn't knocked on their doors, played with their dogs, had picnics of sandwiches and cookies, been offered dry shoes.

We spend other days and evenings working in the cafe, the small colorful space that offers safety on the main street of a town that people used to fear. And in the evening, the tables are packed full of people talking and playing games, looking at paintings done by local artists, listening to those who display their talent in singing. It's a coffee shop snapshot of everyone blended; races, ages, backgrounds.

We worship with a Benedictine Episcopal community, and then with a black Pentecostal church. Know what? They love each other. And I love both of them, and they both spill God's love all over the team.

Oh yeah, the team. We're six students and one faculty, all from different majors and backgrounds, all giving our spring break to be here instead. Because we wanted to. We knew each other to varying degrees before the break, but this week ties us together into something that couldn't have been predicted from the meetings, as we grow into a family. We sing a lot. We tease each other a lot. And people are surprised that we are so happy, that we enjoy each other's company.

Good stuff happens like that. It should mark the kingdom coming.

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