Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mission Memories

My sister just returned from the Eat Thou Honey Conference in Memphis, Tennessee. And since I didn't get to go, I'd like for her to share with us a rundown of the conference -- speakers, singers, blessings, lesson, etc. From what little she's shared with me, I'm sure a good time was had by all. Here is a link where you can read about Darlene McCarty, a dynamic and powerfully anointed servant of God. She and her husband were over the Youth of Tennessee in the Assemblies of God when I was in my early teens and young adult years going to church camps and youth conventions. Their ministry had a profound effect on my life, and I am grateful for the many sacrifices they've made throughout the years. I am glad God has blessed them and continues to bless their ministry.

It was during my teen years that Randel and Darlene introduced me to the world of Missions through the AIM program. When I was 16 I went with a group of teens led by Randel and Darlene and others to Leon, Mexico. I saw firsthand the impoverished conditions of the people living there. We did street witnessing and choir performances and saw many souls brought into the kingdom on that trip. I went on three other AIM trips in the following years: Montego Bay, Jamaica; Christiana, Jamaica; and Nassau, Bahamas. I know those don't sound like missionfields but believe me when I tell you that beyond the manicured beaches and tourist spots there lies a hurting, impoverished people that are hungry for the truth the Word.

In Montego Bay we stayed at a missionary's home and did tent services at night at the foot of the street. During the day we would go into the hills and witness door to door. Sometimes we would pass children playing barefoot in the dirt, a knobby cow grazing near a hut, a Rastafarian dealing marijuana. I will never forget the sight of those Blue Mountains as Air Jamaica touched down on the short runway over the ocean. Angie Johnson Griffin and Mike Glover were my witnessing partners. We ended the week by climbing Dunns River Falls in Ocho Rios.

The following year, I believe it was, we stayed in the center of the island in the Assemblies of God Bible College. I remember the New Year's Eve service at the Green Pond church in particular. We had all divided up in groups and attended different churches so that we could minister to more people. It was a beautiful way to ring in the New Year.

One of my most vivid memories of this trip was taking off from the airport at Montego Bay and circling over Kingston for what seemed like an eternity. I knew there was a problem before the pilot ever announced it. I could see bluish green liquid streaking my window. We were not gaining altitude. Jack Simon, the minister sitting by me and who is now a missionary in Colombia, South America, joked and shut the window. I wrote in my journal and prayed. The pilot said we would be landing in Kingston. Our landing gear was stuck in the out position, which is good that it wasn't stuck inside. We were leaking hydraulic fluid. We landed safely. They fixed the plane, and we took off again. IN THE SAME PLANE. When the plane finally landed in Miami or Nashville (I can't remember which ) we broke out into a chorus of God Bless America. This ole gal was never happier to be on American soil.

The trip to Nassau was just as memorable. We saw many lives changed there as well. I remember riding to services in the back of a furniture truck. I remember a double rainbow in the sky. I remember serving in the children's ministry. I remember the straw market. I remember Golden Gate Assembly of God where we ministered on New Year's. I remember singing, "Come on ring those bells. Light the Christmas Tree." The one common thread I remember is Randel and Darlene being there, our fearless leaders. And the Spirit of God that led them.

When you pray, pray for our pastors, our leaders, our missionaries, our workers in the field. They have an eternal impact on souls. They reach thousands of youth and adults that we could never reach. They give their lives to the Master's service. Please uplift them daily. And give. They need our support.

1 comment:

PT2006 said...

sounds like an invitation for some bloggin. hmmmmm

The conference was awesome. The praise and worship ushered in the presence of God and truly prepared the ground for the Word. The speakers were right on target with fresh admonitions to the body of Christ. Inspiring, uplifting, encouraging, and informative are just a few words that describe the conference and workshops. I'll tell you more about it soon.