Sunday, July 7, 2013
This morning we woke up ready for a new day and a new start after the illness that the majority of the team felt yesterday. All of us except one had at least a small amount of sicknes yesterday, but we were all determined that today would be better and that no amount of headache, nausea, or dehydration would keep us down. After breafast, which most of us decided to skip just to be safe, we ventured out further into Beirut to visit Jeremy and Sara's church here in Lebanon. It was an interesting service with a diverse group of people, but my absolute favorite part was hearing people praise God through songs in Arabic.
When we arrived from church, we ate lunch and were grateful that we had all started feeling better. As soon as lunch was over we started going back to our rooms, but before I could actually enter my door I heard two boys calling my name, "Mr. Josh, Mr. Josh, do you want to play Risk with us?" I quickly refilled my water bottle and headed down to the prayer room to play. The boys set up the board and we began a long game of Risk. I didn't pay too much attention to the game, but I enjoyed great conversation, debate about the rules, and a great deal of laughter with the boys. After about 3 hours of playing without a winner we decided to call the game and head outside. Once outside, we found the rest of the boys playing. Several of the team members quickly started playing card games with some of the boys while others played games of basketball or keep away with the ball.
I've often been asked by people what we do when I tell them that I'm coming to Lebanon on a mission trip with my church. It's as if though the trip only has value if we are doing something tangible or visible. I usually give them a pre-rehearsed answer about the boys at the orphanage and the turoring and summer program that we do because that's easier to understand than the real answer. I'm not sure that anyone really wants to hear that we don't really come to do a lot of anything, but rather we come to be. We come to simply be with the boys. We come to love and care for them. We come to get to know them, hear their stories, and tell them a piece of our story. We come to represent a church that loves them and more importantly to represent a God that loves them deeper than we ever could. We come to do what we did this afternoon. This may not be what is typically thought of for a trip like this, but we trust that God is present in our being as we share life with one another.