Hi! This is Terry Lancaster. Bob and I have had the privilege of leading this wonderful trip this week. It has been an amazing, life-altering time as we have spent the week outside of our comfort zone. I know that a lot of you have spent significant amounts of time praying for our trip, so I thought that I would tell you how God has answered those prayers. We gave you some specific things to pray for on the Sunday that we left, so I will answer each of those.
That the kids of Charleston will come: We had 62 kids the first night, 126 the next night, 132 the next night, 114 the next night and right around 200 tonight. You read right – we had 200 kids at the carnival tonight, not counting us.
That the kids will be open to us: We loved on them and they loved us back. Although the kids often fought, threw rocks, and didn’t listen, there wasn’t a man or teenager here that didn’t have a kid on his shoulder. All the women and girls were carrying as many as they could. Whenever we sat down, our laps were full. It makes it easy to speak into the hearts of kids when they are hugging on you.
That the kids will be open to Jesus: We talked about God loving them, about how he has a purpose for their lives, about how Jesus died just for them and about how much easier it is to live this life when God is in your life. We might never know how that has impacted these kids, but we know that we shared over and over again about God’s love for them.
Director Dean Wallace, and his work: We got the opportunity this week to repair the roof of his house. It has been leaking since an ice storm last year, and we were able to partner with some roofers to replace 1/2 of the roof. We spent today over at his house removing bushes, planting flowers and spreading mulch. We supplied the materials and the labor. It looks wonderful.
Good weather: no rain, not too hot: Did you know that on three of the four evenings it was sprinkling at 3:30, but stopped by 4:00? We never had a drop of rain during kids club time, although it rained at other times. Tonight for the carnival, the sky was very threatening, but it didn’t start raining until we were TOTALLY cleaned up for the night. The overcast skies kept the temperature far lower than we expected. It was wonderful.
Travel safety: Everyone was safe. No problems, even though there were 18-20 cars at all times!
That our hearts will be open for what God wants us to learn: Every evening after Kids Club, we got back together and shared the ‘good, the bad and the ugly’. We have wonderful stories to tell about how God has changed our outlook on life and our outlook on the greatness of God.
Safety and health for everyone: We have lots of blisters from hard work, lots of sore backs from lifting and carrying and a few skinned knees, but that is all!
Great attitude for everyone: It has been an amazing experience for Bob and I to lead a group of people that have spent all of their time asking ‘What can I do next?’ Even after hours of hard labor, NO ONE ever complained about setting up for kids club or spending hours with kids that are sometimes difficult. We are really proud of the middle school and high school kids. We could not have done this mission trip without them. They all stepped up to the plate and took on adult responsibilities throughout the week.
More workers, donations, supplies: We had enough workers every time we needed them (there were 60 of us). We had enough donations and supplies for everything (we gave away 1500 books, 600 stuffed animals, over 2000 prizes and thousands of pieces of candy). God supplied – through many of you – exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed it.
That God will be glorified in all that we do: We believe God used us this week in ways that we will never know. The kids were clinging to us as they left tonight. We know that we spent the week ‘testifying to the gospel of God’s grace’ by showing His love to a group of kids that aren’t always loved by anyone else.
Bob and I are so grateful that we could be part of this trip. To God be the glory – great things He has done.