I hoped there would be another mission trip to help some people in Kentucky like we experienced last year, but I heard nothing. Then, one day when several of us who had worked together for months in the Toledo area on a mission project were in a van together doing some shopping for that project, I heard the word – CAP!
That’s it! CAP stands for Christian Appalachian Project – the very group we worked with last fall. What? There will be a trip this fall? Yes, we leave Sept. 15.
My response? “Count me in.”
So plans had been in the works for several months. As the departure date neared, we had a mandatory orientation meeting.Those meetings can get long and tiresome for those who are experienced missioners. Still, when we left for home that afternoon, excitement was building.
A couple of hours ago, I had a phone call from the team leader. “Helen, there is change of plans for the trip.” (As I write this column, plans call for leaving tomorrow morning.)
“Okay, what’s up?”
“We were planning to use the district van for travel because it’s a 12-passenger, but it broke down today for a group on their way to Cedar Point.”
My immediate, less than sympathetic response, was, “Better today than tomorrow, when we would have been on our way to Kentucky.” Nonetheless, that did create a problem. My mind immediately went into overdrive. My grandson and I would simply drive. If a couple other cars were also used, that should get the job done.
But our team leader was ahead of me. She said, “We will take our van instead. It doesn’t carry as many people, but we can manage.” So meeting times and places were changed and the trip is still on.
I am sorry for the group on their way to Cedar Point. It is disappointing to have plans go awry. I don’t know the end of that story, but I am grateful we were not loaded for a mission trip with all our gear to stay the week and that happened to us.
One of the first rules of a mission trip is to be flexible. Well, this change did call for flexibility and it seems to have been well handled, but we have to remember more flexibility will be required, even during the mission experience. That always happens. It is not to be feared or dreaded, just expected and endured.
Still, whatever happens, we have placed ourselves (16 of us) at God’s disposal to do the work He has for us while we are there.
Our united desire is that those to whom we minister will see Christ in us and want to develop a relationship with Him or will be led into a closer relationship with Him. That will only happen if each of us and all of us as a group yield to God’s plans, which may include frequent changes in plans –also called flexibility.
Sometimes that can be hard, but if God’s will is accomplished, it is well worth the effort.