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All in the Van

Many things bring a smile to my face. But this is among the top of the list …

Driving by our church this afternoon, I saw the CPC trailer hitched up to the van! I made a u-turn at the next traffic light (really!) and came back to the church parking lot to take this photo. They are ready for mission.

I smile ….

…because tomorrow the intergenerational mission team heads to Philippi, West Virginia. Partnering with World Vision’s domestic ministry, they will serve the community through construction and leading a children’s ministry. Our Spring Break team of 34 includes senior citizens, couples, singles, parents, teens, and elementary-aged children. They return to continue building relationships we began in the summer 2011 reaching out to this impoverished Appalachian community.

…because I recall how we received the van. A church member donated it to reduce our transportation needs and to lower costs for the student ministry. Oh, and one more thing… he donated lifetime maintenance on the van!

…because I remember the abundance of the fundraising and tool donation collection for our 2001 Kentucky mission project. We purchased the trailer and it’s been hauling ever since! The trailer and van have racked up thousands of miles in rural and urban locations up and down the east coast as our teams have served where the Lord calls!

Pictures scroll through my mind as I reflect on all they have carried: ladders, circular saws, gutters, wood, extension cords, first aid kits, weeks worth of food supplies, suitcases, clothing donations, tool donations, VBS materials, sleeping bags, air mattresses, and team members (van only!).

Going out of the parking lot is critical to a living faith. We are all called to be missionaries in our families, neighborhoods, schools, and places of work. Many of us have had the privilege of also serving as short-term project missionaries. In the field, we come to know our CPC mission partners better. We see God working in new contexts and become a part of that work. We experience servanthood. We learn humility.

We take off work, kennel the dog, give the fish a “vacation feeder,” put down the tv remote control, turn off the cell phone, add an away message to email, pack a bag, and board the van.

Is it disruptive to life to serve on a team? Yes.

Is it costly? Yes.

Is it safe? No.

Is it good? Absolutely!

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)

Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17)

And, “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Posted by Sharon Hoover

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