This past Sunday we said good-bye to our second and final mission team of the summer. It was an outstanding week that tested my faith to the limits. The group was from First Baptist Church in Universal City, TX (FBCUC) and there was a tremendous amount of spiritual warfare from before the team even arrived. God knew what he was doing though (surprise! surprise!) and the culmination of the week was simply beautiful. The team spent the bulk of their week loving on kids and families from the Tacoma Rescue Mission and a local apartment complex called Summertree. The last night of the trip we had a huge block party and a ton of kids and families from these places came and partied with us. God was glorified and relationships were launched. Can't wait to see what God has in store.
This is all well and good, but why is this weeks post entitled "hindsight?" Well, it's because looking back on the starting point that led up to this amazing week only evokes two responses in me... awe & worship. Let me tell you briefly the back story of The Pathway's partnership with FBCUC.
I was born an Air Force brat and when I was about 6 months old my dad got orders to move from Florida to Texas and we found ourselves joining FBCUC. We were there for 3-4 years. My family was a part of the church and I attended their preschool academy. When we left for Colorado none of us knew the amazing plan God had in store for his Kingdom through a then 4 year old little boy and a church that was really beginning to grow in Universal City.
When my dad retired out of the Pentagon in 1994 (I think?), we moved back to the Universal City area but we were a part of a different church. When I went away to college in 2000 my parents went back to FBCUC for a short time before they moved again when my dad took a new job even farther south in Texas. Around the end of 2007 God started to call me and Kelli to help plant churches and in 2008 we moved to Snoqualmie to join a team to plant Lifepointe Community Church. When we began raising funds and seeking partnerships to plant The Pathway in Tacoma, I got a call from my dad. He told me that he hoped I didn't mind, but he had shared our plans with the pastor of FBCUC and he was interested in meeting me and Kelli. Of course I didn't mind! But since I had no real relationship with the church and had never met Pastor David, I didn't really expect anything to come of it. Oh me of little faith.
Before I knew it I was having lunch with Pastor David at a delicious little Mexican joint right next to their church building and it was obvious that the Holy Spirit was moving. FBCUC committed to partnering with us and has now blessed us with significant and consistent financial support, tons of prayer, 3 summer interns over the course of the last three summers and outstanding mission teams who don't simply show up in Tacoma. They come passionate, prepared, flexible and most importantly ready to serve and share the gospel.
The hindsight started to really bring me to worship this summer as I sat with the team reflecting on the week. In the group was Mrs. Rice. Mrs. Rice has known me since I was a very little boy. She is now 70 and I am now 30. Who would have thought when I was running around as a crazy little toddler that 30 years later we would be reconnected on God's mission. The Kingdom of God is big. God's plan is bigger. Hindsight is 20/20 and in the moment we seldom understand the fullness of what God is doing.
The lesson? Trust God. Seeing him orchestrate Kingdom work in this way... over a 30 year period... I can't help but trust him. His plan is perfect. His timing is perfect. And hindsight leads me to a place of awe & worship.