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Final Update from Jackson Team

March 3, 2010

The first two posts are here and here.  The following is a recap of the Jackson mission trip by team member Tracy Simmons.

As I drove home last night in a quiet car with three sleeping passengers, I was able to reflect on what we had accomplished and my own personal involvement on this trip to Jackson, TN. And as you’ve read from the previous two postings, you know that there was MUCH to be done.

I was not on a team of people whose jobs were what I considered the BIG ones—no construction, no nail gun duty, no electrical or plumbing. No . . . Anna, Lindsey, Luann, and I got the job of sorting and folding clothes—LOTS of clothes—for what would become City Fellowship’s clothes closet. While others were hammering, sawing, and playing with the nail gun ( . . . Eva!), constructing counter tops and shelves, we were sorting clothes. And, sort we did!

With one look at all those bags of clothing, I started asking myself questions: How many clothes could there possibly BE in all of those bags? Do we really have to sort and fold them all? Were we REALLY going to make an impact by folding clothes?  I came to be a blessing; Lord . . . is this what you had in mind? Come on . . . really?

But, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart. Tracy, do everything without grumbling and complaining. Do your work as unto Me. I began to see that His vision was bigger than mine. Heck, his vision was bigger than ALL of ours! I began to pray. I prayed for God to change my way of looking at all those ominous piles of clothes. I prayed Psalm 3:3, “But you are a Shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.” I began asking God to lift the heads of those who would be receiving these clothes. I began to pray protection for the little girl that would someday come to wear those cute, little pink suede boots. I prayed encouragement for the young woman that would someday wear the cute little black skirt with the red bow.  I began to pray that the young boy who received the GAP hoodie would grow up to be a mighty man of God. And, for the man who would receive a warm, winter coat I prayed God’s provision for him and his family. My spirit became lighter!

Saturday afternoon, as the members of City Fellowship started to arrive with our dinner, some of us from The Bridge were singing hymns, harmonizing our voices as we worked. It was a special moment, and I think our friends from City Fellowship enjoyed our little concert!! Another highlight was the Sunday afternoon worship experience—and it was DEFINITELY an experience. The singing, praying, and “half-time” were awesome, but Pastor Russ’s message truly pierced my heart. His scripture passages were taken from Ephesians 4:1-6, Ephesians 4:17-5:2. It’s a message to the church about having unity with each other, walking in a manner worthy of our calling because we are part of one body, putting off our old self and taking up the new, and changing our attitudes to line up with the Truth that is in Christ Jesus, and how to become an “imitator of God”. I’d heard all that stuff before but, in this context, it brought to light a whole new meaning for me. I came to understand that whether we’re at our regular worship gathering at The Bridge or in Guatemala building churches, or riding for 17 hours to Fargo to do backyard bible clubs, or folding and sorting clothes in Jackson, TN, we are to be imitators of God. I also realized that I and my fellow “Bridgers” had just come to be “imitators of God” to our friends at City Fellowship, and at that moment we had never been more like Him. We were Jesus with skin on . . . being His hands and feet.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Eva Howard permalink
    March 4, 2010 3:48 pm

    Tracy- you caputred the exact feeling that I know I felt and experienced while on any mission adventure, whether it be Jackson, TN, Guatemala or even right here in Spring Hill. I didn’t think it could be put into words yet you did it so elequently.

    All I can add is “AMEN” – now pass the offering plate.

    Tracy- maybe you should go into the writing field. I would buy your book.

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