Hurricane Relief in Mississippi: We’re Alive! Team Pearlington survived a youth mission trip team of 150 people this past week and we had an awesome time! Houston First Presbyterian Church is our largest group of the summer. Literally, our entire summer has been in preparation for this short term missions trip. We have been making sure that things are lined up to accommodate this many people. It was interesting to see how God worked this week because we found that even with all of the preparation we had done, problems still arose. The first work day we awoke to torrential downpours and it seemed like the week was going to be disastrous because the majority of the work projects we had lined up were outdoors. We also had some last minute worksite cancellations. We were sweating it out and praying that things would turn around.
However, God helped details to fall into place and the week was a “home run”. He presented other opportunities for work projects and blessed us with eager and high spirited students and leaders who were flexible and energetic. We were also blessed with beautiful weather on Thursday and Friday. It is truly amazing how our Lord works even in the difficult times. This was definitely a lesson on trust in Our God, and it became very obvious that sometimes it is so hard to let go of all control in a situation and just give it over to Him. This team from Houston was a huge blessing to the community of Pearlington, Mississippi and the hurricane relief work, as well as to the Experience Mission Staff. We were very encouraged by the entire group’s positive attitude and dedication to work hard. There was never a moment when this team wasn’t asking how they could help whether it be in the kitchen or on the worksite. This team worked in a total of 15 worksites doing various things such as shingling, siding, demolition, flooring, decking, interior & exterior painting, staining, porch covers, and general cleanup and yard beautification.
Something that was very unique to this mission trip team was their tight knit community, which is surprising considering their large size. Their evening programs were very exciting and intentional. We had fun dance parties each night and moving talks given by Brune, Scott, and Tim. They have an interesting approach to missions. They use it has a tool for evangelism. About 2/3 of the students that came on the trip with First Presbyterian Church did not necessarily have a relationship with Christ. The philosophy this group has about short term mission trips is to show students what it means to live out a Christian lifestyle through serving. Their theme for this week was in 2 Corinthians 5:20 and being “Christ’s ambassadors.” Many lives were changed this week and many relationships were built both within the team and the community.
-Jim and the Pearlington team
*Interested in joining in the work of Experience Mission? Check out our website at www.ExperienceMission.org for more information and to sign up for upcoming 2010 mission trips!