With days three and four of our missions trip under our belts, we learned to be very flexible in our scheduling. Plans we had previously made for our third day fell through, making us unable to assist Daniel O’Kane’s church planting efforts any longer. However, God provided other opportunities to serve. On Friday morning, we went to Darby Grace Church and helped set up their Egypt-themed VBS program. We set up decorations, made balloon arches, wrote signs, put together tents, and helped in many other ways, from cleaning the church to spray-painting decorations.
After bidding Darby Grace farewell, we ate a quick lunch as we continued to work out our plans for the rest of the day. Finally, it was decided that the majority of our group would go to a local fair, while the remainder of the group headed out to help one of Northwest Chapel’s (the church we’re staying at) members move.
During our time at the fair, our group received the opportunity to assist in running a stand led by Bruce, a member of Northwest Chapel. The stand routinely brings people in, allowing for a three to five minute window in which to share the Gospel. Before actually sharing with people, Bruce told us a bit of his testimony and had us each run through a practice round with him. Shawn, Joey, and I (Robin) then got the chance to put those skills to the test on some fair-goers who wandered into the tent. While I didn’t hear much about their experiences, I got to share a quick version of the Gospel with an eager little girl and her mother’s friend. Though neither one showed genuine interest, they both listened attentively, and it felt good to know that I planted a seed for God’s Kingdom.
Later some of us helped Pastor Shannon Hollinger (a pastor at Northwest Chapel), Nick Manning, and Ben Hollinger load a church member’s moving van with furniture. It was a humbling experience for me: when I first walked into the house, I saw that there was a lot of work to do! Being a neat freak, I didn’t especially care for the clutter and was annoyed that the family hadn’t cleaned their house out yet. As we were driving home, however, I learned that not only was the family moving, but the father and mother had both just come through painful and major surgeries, and they had five young children. That day I learned not to judge a book by its cover: The people we helped move were very nice, and they were in a difficult situation. It felt good to know that I had helped a family that needed it, and it taught me a good lesson.
In other news, one of our fearless leaders, Adam Swift, was admitted to urgent care because of a newly discovered horse allergy. Luckily, he’s nearly fully recovered.
As a result of the craziness of Friday, we learned what it means to leave everything in God’s hands. Our plans fell through, but other opportunities to help were provided.
On Saturday, we headed to the Columbus Zoo and water park, watching cheetahs run, witnessing baby polar bears attempt to catch trout, and waiting in super long lines for awesome water slides. We had a great day of relaxation and enjoyed just hanging out with each other.