We had the prayer meeting in the new Equipping center. We met in the preschool worship room. There were between 25 and 30 of us there to pray for the 12 members of the mission team. We circled up our chairs, and when Donna asked me to open the prayer time I was suddenly overwhelmed by the moment.
I have moments like that...right out of nowhere I'm bombarded by the irony of where I am, where I've been and where I'm going! Here I was on the Sunday evening of the first Sunday we opened this new building for ministry. I was sitting next to my 15 year old daughter who was sitting between me and one of her best friends--inviting God to pour His safety, leadership and love on the mission team. That was my present.
But then came my past.
- I was sitting in another room (one that no longer exists due to the renovation going on in the old building for our new youth center) and I was leading our first mission team (first ever for TSC) as we were preparing to go to Nicaragua.
- Then I was standing in the kitchen area outside the Venue (which was then the worship center), posing for a picture with Kaleigh (age 5) and her friend Will (also 5) and his mother--the two of them dressed in those little white baptism robes; Terra and me beaming from ear to ear-- YES LORD! YOU SAVED MY CHILD!
- I was in the "Red Brick" garage talking with the Vision team and our construction company about our vision for this next building. We passionately said that if we were going to spend this much money to build this kind of building smack dab in the middle of the belt buckle of the Bible belt--then we would be intentional about sending people out from this place!
And in my present, God let me see that the past was all coming together. Our church is sending 3 groups out this week. One to Mexico, another to east Asia and this one to Nicaragua (these 3 are part of many we've sent already this year). It all began many years ago--with that one little group I took to Nicaragua. My daughter and Will are walking in their faith! Both of them growing--he committed to pray for her during her trip--and she eagerly anticipating another great week serving the people she loves--sharing Jesus with those who have so little. And only God would put me in a prayer service (for the sole purpose of sending missionaries out) on the very day we opened our Equipping Center.
As I prayed I almost choked on the teeny little glimpse of what is yet to come. Kaleigh will continue to grow. She'll keep seeking after the Lord and He will continue to guide her into the very work He had in mind that she would do. The 3 women who've never been on a mission trip before will never be the same again. And this brand new building we just opened Sunday will send out hundreds, yes...even thousands of missionaries, preachers, lay leaders, counselors, teachers, mighty men and women of God in the years to come.
To God be the glory great things He has done!
Great things He is doing!
And Great things He will continue to do!