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Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Long Journey Home

Last week I told of how God gets us through trouble. Little did I know what this week would bring.

It’s just an old building. It practically sits right on State Street, directly opposite Burgard’s Tavern.

You pass it every day. When the leaves are off the trees, you may have noticed the banner stretched across the side: “Jesus Saves.”

I was thinking today that a footnote on the banner should read: “Jesus loves you and we, do, too.”

Faith Baptist Church has owned the ramshackle brick building for years. We always called the building “The Annex.”

That name changed to “The Mission House” a few years ago when church members plunged into a rehab project of miraculous proportion. After months of repairing, painting and wallpapering, the building became a home for missionaries who visit during breaks from their overseas work.

People seldom consider the sacrifice of missionary families. They often sell everything to go far away to serve God. They uproot their families and totally trust God with their journey.

Many missionary families have no home or car when they return for visits. That’s why Faith Baptist created a home for them.

Mike and Wendy Young and their children are a missionary family Faith has served. They have worked with the people of the Czech Republic for many years.

Last Friday, Mike got the devastating news that his brother was killed in a boating accident on Baldwin Lake. He and his family would have to make the long journey home.

Last Friday,  Faith plunged into action. We had just said goodbye to other visitors to the Mission House. The home was scheduled for about a month of extensive cleaning and repair.

We only had 24 hours.  We had 24 hours to transform the Mission House and make it fresh for the weary, saddened visitors, the Young Family.

By 5 p.m. Friday evening, Faith Baptist Church members showed up with supplies of cleanser, buckets, mops and shop vacs. They worked til ten p.m. and again the next day, making the home welcoming and nice for the Youngs.

Trouble had again visited our homes, but, in one way, God had again worked it for good. Our fellowship in the Mission House over cleanser and vacuum hum was sweeter than any worship service.

Bible verses, welcome signs, cards, food and scrubbed floors greeted the grieving travelers who had made a long journey home.

We fervently ask God to wrap the whole Young family in His loving arms. We thank Him that, while we all grieve, He will “work all things for good”...even in a long journey home.

“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

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