• Checking Out: Bayámon, Puerto Rico

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    Tomorrow my brother and I get to drop everything in our lives, jump in a truck and drive to Denver, and then on early Thursday morning, we’ll hop a plane to Atlanta and then fly on to Bayámon, Puerto Rico.  This trip has been a few months in the making, but in reality, it has snuck on me, and I realized just this weekend I needed to get my head into this trip, and get prepared to go.

    Why Bayámon?

    Our cousin Jeremy pastors a church in Denver- Northrock Church– which every year sends out a team to do ministry in a partner location.  We have known that Jeremy and his dad have taken a number of mission trips to locations south of the U.S. over the years, and during the summer of last year, we heard about their trip this year.  My brother got excited, and suggested we join them on a trip.  It sounded great to me.  We signed on earlier this year and have been loosely included in the communications and efforts that have occurred at Jeremy’s church as this mission team raised funds and prepped for this trip.  Well, the time has arrived, and we will go.  The funny thing is, Jeremy could not make this particular trip, he discovered, and so he went to Bayámon a few weeks ago to do some work that would help us in our service once we arrived.  So we will miss him.

    What will we do?

    “Whatever we need to” is our mind frame.  There is both a medical team and a construction team going, and we are part of the latter.  It will be interesting to see what I and my brother end up doing because we are both far from holding contractor’s licenses, but I believe there are supplies to be moved and walls to be painted.  There is a roof that needs patching.  Not super clear on our roles at this point, we’ll just show up and do what they ask of us.

    What we realize we are also there for, though, is to love people.  My brother and I both go knowing that behind the thrill of travel is God’s calling, in which we are both asked to serve others.  We will be asked to go outside of ourselves, and to reach out to other people, offering good words, humor, warmth, and kindness as we are there.  We recognize that what we are going to do is to try and intently listen to Christ’s guidance as God guides us through our work each day.  And we recognize it is an opportunity for God to meet us and to stretch us.

    We will be in Bayámon from March 22nd through March 31st.  It sounds like Bayámon is the second or third largest city in Puerto Rico (225,000  residents), and that Puerto Rico is packed with people.  It will be a great experience.

    Of course, growing up in New Mexico, I should know some Spanish that would help me to get by talking with locals there.  But I don’t.  It will be interesting.

    Thinking of Us?

    Please pray that we would do what we can, learn what we need to, that we can stay healthy, and that we can bring some good to some lives there while we are there- and that we can also recognize the blessings we will receive as we are there.  Please also pray that neither one of us falls off of a roof, or through a roof.  Hey- it could happen.

    Whatever happens while we are there, we believe that where God’s people serve, standing on the Word and sharing the Gospel in word and deed, His Spirit will be present and His kingdom will be illuminated. At core, we hope that some may come to know Jesus in an intimate way through this trip. Personally, I also hope I am deeply impressed and changed through this experience, and that my trust in God is deepened.

    I plan to take a journal and also do some intensive writing in our down time (if we have any), getting on paper a few items that have been spinning in my head for some time.  I find going away is always a good time for some heart work as well.

    I’m looking forward to the experience, and if I get a chance, I will try to post a few items while we are there, if my phone connection is good.

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    A web programmer by day, I somehow still spend a lot of time thinking about relationships, God, and the significance of grace and love in daily events. I am old school in the sense that I believe in the reality of sin, and in the need of each human heart for deliverance to the Divine. I am one of those who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that you can find most answers to life's pressing issues in Him and His Word, the Bible. I ain't perfect, and a lot of the time I ain't good, but by God's grace and kindness, I am forgiven and free.

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