Great is Thy Faithfulness
July 22, 2021
By Betty Holt
Going on a short-term mission trip is a life-changing experience. In the weeks leading up to the trip, you work together with the other team members, preparing devotions, crafts, and sometimes songs. You are preparing yourself to step into an unknown land, sharing the Gospel with the people that you meet. But the amazing thing is that you receive so much more in blessings than you can possibly expect! The people there give to you in ways you cannot imagine, and you suddenly realize that you have given – and received blessings from your mission trip.
The Covid-19 pandemic has stopped mission teams from traveling internationally, but it has not stopped the Deborah House team from virtually sharing a mission trip with the girls at the Deborah House and Mitspa House. We are “meeting” with the girls and staff via Zoom meetings, and we are sharing the Gospel, devotions, crafts, and songs—as if we were there in person. What an amazing story we are living!
Our first meeting with the girls was on Monday, July 19. Everyone introduced themselves, here and in Romania, and smiling faces were abundant on our screens. Rev. Carey Akin led the devotion this morning, using 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 as his scripture. He shared that God loves each one of us and has sent His Comforter to comfort us. He shows us compassion for a specific reason: so we can comfort others. God didn’t want bad things to happen to us, but He wants us to be able to help someone else who has been through the bad things that each of us has experienced. He has a purpose for our lives: that we would be a person of compassion. God pours compassion into our lives so we can help others; in other words, our cup overflows, then we have love to give to others.
Wednesday, July 21 was our second session with these precious girls. Ruth Ann Sonke led the devotion using the Mt. Bethel Daily Devotion “Prayer can change your life….” Prayer is a foundation for everyone who has a close relationship with God, and this devotion explained to the girls how communicating with God should be a priority in their lives. She wants these children of God to understand that prayer is something wonderful that they can experience on a daily basis with God their Heavenly Father. After a few minutes of levity (the girls led us in dancing the Macarena—oh my, what’s a mission trip without laughter?), Steve Franks led a devotion on Jesus’ life, love, and offer of salvation. Using John 3:16, he shared with the girls this invitation to awaken to the life each girl was made to live and to become the love they were made to give. He explained how God sent his only Son to Earth so that all would know the love of God firsthand – how the gospel of Jesus Christ allows us to live powerfully for the good of others and the glory of God – and how the Holy Spirit can fill us with the fruits of the spirit.
After the devotions, the girls shared with us in a way that touched each one of us in the virtual meeting. They had prepared and sang for us two songs: Blessed Assurance and Great Is Thy Faithfulness. Their voices became one voice as they sang these wonderful hymns of grace and assurance. “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.” And listen to the clip as they sing these words, “Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see: All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”
Sharing the gospel, sharing God’s love with others, letting them hear the Word of God—that’s what it means to participate in a short-term mission team! Please pray for these Romanian children of God as we share with them our hopes for their relationship with their Heavenly Father.