Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mission Bible School - Sep. 23rd-24th

Saturday, Sep. 23rd dawned bright and early for my parents and I as we headed to the airport around 5:00. Life had been so busy the previous few weeks I hadn't had time to get excited, but now that we were finally on our way I could hardly contain myself. Not only was I flying to CO, but I had mom and dad all to myself for a couple hours - a rather rare occurrence in our family.

We started off the morning with breakfast at Perkins together, and I was even able to convince dad that caramel lattes were something worth bragging about! It was so nice to have the quiet, relaxed atmosphere Perkins offered, and gave us a chance for some one on one time. I wouldn't trade that start of my trip for anything!

When we got to the airport, I was dismayed to find my flight had been delayed two hours. I guess there had been some severe weather in the Midwest part of the country, and had set tons of flights back. I resigned myself to lots of time reading and journaling, and was also pleased to find a bookstore to browse through after I was past security. The store was empty except for me and the cashier, and just as I was walking out she pleasantly asked me about my headcovering. Thrilled at an opportunity to share Christ, I was surprised to find out that she was a born-again Christian and went to a Baptist church in the area. Originally from Ethiopia, she had immigrated about seven years ago, but had Mennonite relatives back in Africa. We had a very good conversation, and I think both of us were encouraged through it!

When my plane finally left the ground, I was a little disappointed to push through the clouds after about 10 minutes, but the breathtaking views and the pleasant seat companion I had soon kept me plenty involved. As I viewed the beautiful upperside of the clouds, and the shadow of the plane circled by a rainbow, I was blessed by the spiritual parallel God brought to my heart. We only see the underside of the clouds of trials God brings our way. Oftentimes they may be accompanied by storms and rain, and may bring apparent destruction and sorrows into our lives. All the time while we are asking God why and complaining of the hardness in our life, He is looking at the beautiful upper side of the clouds and rejoicing in the fruit He's working in our lives. A simple truth? Yes, but it blessed me as sometimes only simple things can!

I arrived in CO about 1:00, and had an uneventful trip from the airport to Loveland. I was blessed to find my host family a sweet older couple, and we soon got acquainted as the afternoon progressed. I was shown to my huge room with my own bathroom, and from that time forth was treated royally! :-) Later that afternoon their daughter Katie and husband Phil, the pastor of the church, came over with their son Christian. I was so inspired and blessed as I saw the work God has done through their adopted little boy. A prison baby, who's mother was on illegal drugs and alcohal, and also who had been dropped by the doctor seconds after delivery was completely dependent on his parents for the simplest tasks. Almost seven, and unable to speak or even sit up, he was the perfect picture of the lessons Phil wanted to instill upon our minds the next week of our dependency upon God. Seeing his helplessness, and Phil and Katie's dedication and love for him gave me such a picture of God's love towards us. Hearing Phil's stories of how God has used Christian in so many ways to bring spiritual truths to people's hearts, gave me a new picture of God's heart in using even the smallest, and seemingly most insignificant members of the body of Christ for His glory.

Sunday morning was a treat as I got to meet my two housemates. Naomi is a nurse in training from MA, and Anna a big sister with lots of younger siblings just like me from PA! Church was followed by a fellowship meal, and thus began the adventure of meeting all the other students!

Sunday afternoon I was so blessed to be able to visit with Cheri Cross, a very dear friend of mine from there in Loveland. Though we only had a very short hour and a half together that afternoon at Starbucks, I was very blessed and encouraged, and we left with the hope of a repeat the next weekend. Thanks so much, Cheri, for you friendship and dedication to the Lord!

Sunday evening, all of the youth were invited over the indoor horse arena of one of the young married men in the church, and we had several hours of volleyball and general "get-to-know-each-other" time. I was very grateful for this as it gave us all such a head start to Monday. The ice was broken that evening, and paved the way for some awesome blessing we received the next day. I'll make you wait for that till another time, though!


Monica said...

Annie, It sounds and looks like you had a wonderful time.I hope you grew greatly in the Lord.

dave said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time enjoying COFFEE on your trip... let's see... Perkins' Caramel latte, Starbucks for 1.5 hours with Cheri... any more we don't know about? :-)

I am glad you were blessed and encouraged in the Lord!
Hope to hear more about your trip.

Andrea said...

Yes, Monica, it was by far the best YBS I've ever been too. At this point I feel like I've taken so much into my head, and only time will determine how much I grow through it. By God's grace it will be as much as possible!

Dave, you sure know how to make me laugh! Yes, actually coffee was a huge part of my trip and there's LOTS you don't know about yet! I'm sure you'll hear plenty about that aspect during my continuing narrative! LOL! And yes, I was very, very blessed and it's only been a continuing blessing for me to write about it!

HeatherErin said...

I had no idea there was a Bible School going in CO and that you were going! We love Phil and Katie and watching them with their son. They are a real inspiration.