Mission trip. The term meant almost nothing to me except an opportunity to spend time with a close friend, which was more than enough incentive for me to accept the invitation. The description my friend gave of the trip sounded like a manly adventure of demo-ing, building things, and helping people affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.
My limited expectations for the trip faded when reality came into focus: an area of the US crushed by massive volumes of rain leaving behind devastated homes and lives still reeling eight months after the event left the front page of the papers.
Reality was a catastrophic event unique in that, unlike fire, earthquake, explosion and the like, flooding is not an insurable risk unless in a declared flood plain, which much of the impacted area was not. Many people were left on their own to rebuild homes...uninhabitable, stripped of furniture, contents and memories.
Reality was also seeing firsthand the work of God in His people, transforming destruction one nail, one stroke of paint, one sheet of drywall at a time.
Reality was my initial expectation for the mission trip giving way to a profound sense of awe in witnessing the love of God shining through the devastation at the intersection of faith and need.
By Phil Chronister