14 hours until we depart Waco on Calvary’s 7th Mission Trip to Lebanon. All the preparations are complete; all that is left is getting there.
Those going on this trip are “first timers.” Since the first trip, those that have gone have always included people who have gone before, some for the second, third, fourth or fifth time. It will be interesting to see Dar el Awlad, the boys and staff, through new eyes.
In our discussions leading up to the first trip, one condition laid down was that the Mission trip was not to be a “one and done,” but rather a relationship building effort.
Calvary, you have done that in your praying, the continuing support, and sending shoes to the same child year after year. The relationships that you have built are evidenced in many ways: in the boys showing us your pictures from the last several years as they and we have grown older, in being greeted as friends rather than guests and in the genuine hugs that let you know they are glad you have returned. Perhaps the most memorable way your relationship was expressed, was when a housemother told one of the boys, “Don’t cry, they are from Calvary, they always return.”
But why do we return? Last year I was talking to the director about the boys that graduate from high school and move on with their lives, asking him what impact DeA has had in their lives? His answer summed it up. “Not all the boys accept Christ and go on in their faith journey when they leave this place. We may not ever see the results. For some it may be 20 or 30 years before we see results, but we have planted a seed. It is up to the Lord to nurture the seed.”
Calvary, you are planting seeds, seeds in the lives of the boys we are with and seeds in those that you send. For one couple from our church, the Bouchers, this has meant moving to Lebanon to serve at DeA the last 6 years. For others that have gone on the trip, you will have to ask them how the seeds have grown.
For the boys, you are helping to plant the seeds, and we will show them all the love we can in the time we are there.
From the corner of 18th and Bosque, to West Avenue, to Beirut Lebanon, Calvary you have shown the love of Christ, and are continuing to do so.