What a difference a year makes! If you are like us, you often don’t take the time to rewind and see how much God has done in just a little shy of one year. Our prayer has always been for God to leverage our lives and unique experiences to help build a North American presence for CSI. This year in every way has been led on our knees. There is no way we could have come this far without prayer. So many people have been prayer warriors for us and the ministry of CSI.
When we set out on this journey, we established one very important goal. We felt very strongly that we did not want to just take teams for the sake of taking teams. Our desire was to establish partnerships where God was already doing amazing ministry in the lives of His people. We had lots of directions we could have led, but God led us perfectly to a couple of very special partnerships.
The Freeda Harris Center is led by an amazing family deep in the heart of Appalachia. To be a part of such a transformational ministry has been a privilege. This partnership is only going to get stronger as we dream together on ways to reach this community for Christ. The best here is yet to come!
The partnership with Mountain Mission School in Grundy, VA has been such a blessing! Here is what we have learned first hand, “you can’t out-give God!” Every team that we have taken on a trip to Mountain Mission has left with more than they were able to give. Mountain Mission has been ministering to the needs of some very special children since 1888. 2020 is going to be an amazing year!
Recently we led Sycamore Friends Church to our newest partnership at Wears Valley Ranch, in Tennessee. Wears Valley Ranch is home to 35 children and staff. This trip was a bit different for us in that it was a multi-generational trip made up of families. From leading chapel, clearing pastures of trees, clearing the creek, and interacting with the children at the ranch, it was a mission trip we will cherish for a long time. Thank you Sycamore Church for the privilege.
If you lead enough mission experiences, you find along the path some very special people. Close to 10 years ago I was eating at a Chick-fil-a and outside was a retired couple showing people the stars through their giant telescopes. I never forgot that experience, so I sought out to find these obscure people 10 years later. Not knowing their names, I made one phone call to Chick-fil-a and the fry cook knew their names.
I proceeded to call and explain the impact they had on me in the very short encounter and boldly asked them to join us on our two back to back mission trips to Mountain Mission and Wears Valley Ranch. Without hesitation, and more importantly their desire to come and be a blessing to these children, they came for free. Two weeks on the road with us and would not take a dime in return. Each night they put the creation of God on display for all. Amazing experience by such sweet people.
2020 has the opportunity for new partnerships that are in the works. We are thankful for the journey and getting to see God move in many ways in the lives of the people who step out and journey with us on these mission experiences.
We covet your continued prayers as we seek to close the gap on our fundraising.
These next 3 words are our words for 2020. God’s Got This.