Monday, September 15, 2008

Mowing Lawns

God calls some to preach and others to mow the lawn. This is something I’ve always believed. Some people are meant to eloquently lead others to Christ and the rest of us clean the kitchen after the potluck. For the past several years PK and I have quite literally been lawn mowers for Jesus. We liked it. It’s something we were comfortable with and we could feel good about putting some sweat equity into our spiritual lives. Afterall, it was the right thing to do.

Ever since I was a kid in squirming around the pews on Sunday morning, pastors seemed larger than life - too perfect to be normal people. In fact, I used to imagine that I could see little angel wings poking out from under their sport jackets. If pastors were angels in disguise, then missionaries were the saints sent from heaven to win the world for Christ. These people traveled to scary places filled with heathens and oppressors to teach and preach. They gave up their homes, money and freedom to show others what God has to offer. We revered them and held them to a nearly impossible standard of perfection. How lucky we were to be in the presence of these great Christians once a year on Missions Day! They were not lawn mowers. No, they had real gifts and they were called to use them.

This year, PK, CT and I have started attending a new church. We really felt we needed to find a more active church with a youth group for CT's sake. While CT has really enjoyed the new group and is making new friends, it’s really PK and I that have been blessed so far. Already PK is teaching Sunday school to first graders and I’m looking forward to an upcoming couples’ class. We’re not mowing the lawn yet, but we’re starting to get involved a little more…doing the right thing. Still, when Missions Sunday rolled around last month, I wasn’t quite prepared for what God had to teach me. Throughout the service, speakers talked about these great works being done by ordinary people…people from our church…people we knew…people just doing the right thing. That’s when it hit me. Missionaries are lawn mowers. They’re not super-heroes or saints. They’re not just preachers and teachers. They build and repair. They cook and clean. They feed and clothe. They teach Sunday school and attend classes. They mow lawns.

Through our new church, we’ve been given the opportunity to travel to Honduras with the World Gospel Mission in February. During this two week mission, we’ll be working at Escuela El Sembrador. This boarding school for underprivileged boys offers academic and vocational training in a gospel context. The school is really making a difference in the lives of boys and their families in this poverty-stricken part of the world. Our family has always put a heavy emphasis on education and constant learning. We are so blessed that CT has been taught and accepted the gospel and that he will have the education he needs to succeed in his life. So, we feel very strongly that we’ve been called to work at this amazing, far-away place that helps other parents who have not been able to provide these same opportunities for their children.

You may have heard how the recent food shortage has affected Central American countries like Honduras. This project is even more critical in this environment because it not only offers education opportunities, but meets the basic needs of the youth served by the school. We will be part of a work team that will provide labor and support to the school and we’ll take part in improvement and maintenance projects, as needed. What an adventure for a couple of lawn mowers! To learn more about Escuela El Sembrador, visit their website at http://www.escuelaelsembrador.org/. We were particularly moved by the student biographies on the site. We really feel like we can make a difference in the lives of these kids.

Before deciding to embark at this journey, PK and I spent a lot of time talking and praying about it. At first we had a hard time getting past the details, particularly the money we would need in order to fund the trip. Then, PK reminded me of a trip we took last summer. We went tubing on a lazy river in southern Minnesota. For those of you who know me at all, you’ll know that I’m not exactly the laid back, relaxed kind of person. I spent the first part of the trip struggling against the current that kept thrusting me toward the bank where I would wrestle low-hanging branches and eventually get stuck in the shallow mud. More than once I fell out of my tube and fought to keep it from floating down the river without me. I just could not relax and let the river take me. PK was also being caught up in brambles, hitting large rocks and spending a lot of time in the weeds. But there was a difference. He was actually having fun. I was whiney and exhausted from my battle with nature and I could not understand how he could stay so calm and relaxed. At one point, I looked up from my combat with a large tree root close to shore to see PK blissfully rowing down the river with a wooden paddle he’d found in the bushes. He smiled and held up the paddle “God provides!” he yelled back to me. While I was fuming at his good luck at the time, he did teach me a valuable lesson that is coming in useful today. God does provide to those of us who take the time to slow down and give Him control.

In order to make this trip happen, PK and I will need to raise about $5,000. It’s not going to be easy. But I’m going to trust that if this work is what God has planned for us, the funding will come. Please pray that I can continue to let God lead and that He will provide all that is needed. If you would like to contribute to our mission, click here to donate online. Contributions are tax-deductible, so please include your complete mailing address so we can send you a receipt. In addition, PK and I would like our friends and family to commit to praying for us before and during our trip to Honduras. In particular, pray that we will do God’s work well and that He will deliver us safely home. Also, pray for CT while we’re so far away from him. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful network of family and friends. Thank you in advance for your prayer and support.

It’s important for us all to use the gifts we’ve been given to make the world just a little bit better. Some are called to preach and others to mow the lawn. PK and I are still lawn mowers. God has just called us to move our operation south for the winter this year.








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1 comment:

Lawn mowing said...

Just hopped in to wish you guys good luck and joy.