"You can do it, Mrs. Elise!" ... "You ok, Mrs. Elise?" ... I heard this repeatedly as I slowly trudged a 6 mile hike from Italy into France and back (yes 12 miles total). This was Danny's seventh time doing mission work in Italy and the seventh (or more times!) hiking this trail. He wanted Ken and I to experience both. Little did we know what God had in store. The trip was life changing. Our team comprised of young (and a few older) people from nine different countries. From the very beginning, it was biblical community. Only Jesus can do that. We worked hard. We played hard. We ate together. We prayed together. Watching these Jesus lovers serve others was an incredible experience. They didn't just teach their faith, they lived it. There are several stories we would love to share, but we will share one: within our group were two girls from opposing countries. They were placed in the same room. #highanxiety What does Jesus do if His people are willing to follow Him into uncomfortable circumstances? He breaks down barriers and builds a beautiful friendship. These two young women modeled for all of us the importance of giving value to everyone we meet... even people who are considered the enemy.
Before our trip to Italy, we invited our ROOTS group to join us for a little Memorial Day retreat at my parents' home in Florida. Together, we discussed John 15 in detail, enjoyed Silver Springs, played games, and laughed. This getaway and Italy reinforced what we feel God has been communicating to us - Community is so so important. It has always been important, but it is more important than ever in this culture. The next generation (or at least those we spend a lot of time with) seem to get this more than people our age. They want biblical community - yearn for it. They prioritize relationships. They love authentic communication. They are there for each other. They want to help those around them to succeed. And we are learning from them.
Please pray for us during the month of July:
- 19th. Fight The New Drug event to bring awareness to the effect that pornography has on the individual and society. The "Brain, Heart, World" docu-series is compelling yet very entertaining. Pray for us as we start the conversation about an issue that is crippling the next generation.
- 22-26th. COMPASS at the Georgia Baptist Children's Home.