Is there a place you literally love? Some will say they love the beach or the mountains. Others will say they love an amusement park or still others will mention a shopping mall. I will say I love this region illustrated in the photo. Funny, because I have never been to this region. Ever!
So, you are asking, "Why would Randy love a place where he's never been?" Good question and I have a better answer.
I love this place that I've never been to simply because God is calling me to go there and be His ambassador. I love God and I love people. So, by using the transitive property, I love this area of New York even though I've never been there. Today begins a week long mission trip to the Onondaga Indian Nation in Upper New York. This will be the tenth year for First UMC, Lewistown to serve in mission to the Native Americans who live around Syracuse. It will be my first venture north.
Mission trips are always filled with planning, packing, traveling, working, fellowshipping, eating, and hopefully some sleeping. In the midst of the next 7 days, God will use all the things in the last sentence to transform lives, repair some homes, and bring revitalization to hearts. Some of those hearts will be Nation residents and some will return to Lewistown.
God is in need of more people willing to go places and help people they have never met before. God needs people to come and worship in a church sanctuary and then turn around and go out to serve their world. Are you ready to love a place you've never been to? Are you ready to love total strangers and show them the love and grace of God? I hope so. In the process of obeying God's call to mission, you and I will ultimately be the ones who are blessed. I will be posting some updates of our trip throughout the week so stay tuned and watch how God uses us, blesses the nation residents, and changes all of us from the inside out.
Special request: Could you save this photo onto your device and simply offer some daily prayers for our mission team, the Onondaga Indians, and this area south of Syracuse. Thanks in advance.