i understand that it is a rainy day in tallahassee. but it looks like a BEAUTIFUL day in chicago.
we are splitting up today and pursuing different goals...
for those seeking THRILLS: a group left early this morning for cedar point amusement park.
for those seeking GILLS: a group is just now leaving for the shedd aquarium and the natural history museum this afternoon.
for those seeking BILLS: there is a shopping excursion leaving here in an hour.
and for those seeking to see someone who had SKILLS: my group will be leaving to go and see frank lloyd wright's home and studio and take a walking tour of oak park to see some of his work. then we will visit the art museum also.
tonight a group goes to the white sox baseball game. and some of us will stay here and do some laundry (we need to wash the shirts that the kids have been wearing over and over all week. really, it is VERY necessary). and some of us may do some blogging. i am not mentioning any names... but i think you know who that will be.
i wanted to add a few more photos to show you one of the really neat facets of pacific garden mission.... they take compost and dirt and old newspaper and they grow WORMS (yes, jill that is what is crawling up allison's arm in that photo). then they use those worms to make some GREAT dirt to grow beautiful flowers and plants. they have two HUGE green houses and outdoor gardens also.
it reminded me so directly of what they are doing with their "guests" at the mission and what we are trying to do as we "forget ourselves" on this mission trip. as we let go and see our sinfulness, our selfishness for what it really is... trash. only then can we give ourselves truly to God and can we be used through His plans to grow some beautiful flowers in the world. to really spruce up the place. and i do like to spruce up.
from refuse, we have been rescued. from redemption we will radiate the beauty of the Master Gardner. what a Savior we serve. what a mission we are on EVERYDAY.
the young man who showed us around shared his story with us (we split into three groups and each group had a different guide). all of the guides are a part of the pacific mission Bible program (most of them came there as "guests", all of them came there seeking refuge for various reasons). our guide is 23 years old and was clean cut, in a coat and tie and was very well spoken. he shared with us that he never graduated high school. in fact, he never finished a class that he passed without cheating to pass. he heard the gospel preached a year ago and he accepted Jesus as His Savior and he had heard the radio drama from pacific garden mission (unshackled) and his mom thought it would be a great place for him to go and attend their Bible program and work. and so he is doing just that. he has been there 8 months and it has changed his life and his heart. he truly has "forgotten himself" and has found joy and purpose.
there is a free clinic at pacific garden mission with a full time doctor who makes about 1/4th the salary that she could make in the "real" world. but she loves working there and treats the heart as well as the body. she has "forgotten herself" also. and wouldn't have it any other way.
everyone that we saw that worked there was so joyful. so welcoming. so loving. and they work with the "least of the least" day after day. perhaps they see the work as God sees it... as the GREATEST work in the kingdom of God.
testimony after testimony.... i hope we all have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart that responds....