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Didn’t we just do this? (Or how our mission trips are like El having babies).
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
550+ views | 100+ clicks
Dear Prayer Warriors,

Eleanor has spent the entire day packing, weighing, sorting and weighing. One thing is for sure, lifting and weighing 50 – 70lbs bags at 40 was a lot easier than at 60. It is not that we are extravagant, it is that we come with Bibles, Bible study aids and Bible reference works. We come with supplies for the church and the pastors. I know we don’t have to, it is not expected, but when you see the joy in the hearts and faces of those receiving this precious cargo all is worthwhile.

It is at this point, though, that I waiver. I know the baggage personnel at the airport will not be happy, especially in a foreign airport dealing with foreigners. There will be excess luggage to pay; there will be lectures and snide looks; there will be stares of those traveling “light” as they see us pushing, straining, pulling and sweating to get our precious cargo all ready to be weighed. There will be tight back muscles, delays and more. What could be a fifty minute packing is instead five hours. What could be a thirty minute breeze through check-in will be a couple of hours. Sometimes I confess to Eleanor that l really think this is the last time. She smiles though and that is where babies come in.

It was Eleanor who first quoted this verse to me, John 16:20-22 “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world." It was after our little Becky was born. She was about nine months old, and El had been holding the newborn of one of our friends at the church nursery. She began to talk wishfully about having a little baby to hold. I could not believe it. I had been there when she gave birth. (After going through her third trimester in the hottest Texas summer in years.) I honestly wondered if she would ever agree to have another child. And then she quoted John 16:20 – 22 and smiled. She said something to the effect, “You know John, Jesus was right, it only takes holding a baby to forget it all.”

Well, that is what El has been reminding me of today. It only takes seeing the tears of those receiving a study Bible for the first time. It only takes seeing the joy in a teenager receiving his very own Bible. It only takes the delight in a mother as she receives a children’s Bible for her little one. It only takes seeing the excitement in the face of a Sunday school teacher as he sorts through the new material for his class. All you have to do is see a pastor holding a Bible close to his heart and saying “Thank you, thank you, thank you” to forget it all. So in just a little while we will ferry five 50 – 60lbs. suitcases down four flights of stairs. We will jostle then in a car and then wedge ourselves in. We will head off to the airport – next stop Tyumen, Siberia.

I have to fight the little anxiety surges and stave off the unbelief and keep myself focused on the task before me. I am God’s mule, and this precious cargo must make it to Tyumen. The hardship will be forgotten soon enough, and I thank God for a wife who reminds me that if she can bear four children forgetting the pain, then I can lug five suitcases, knowing the discomfort will be forgotten soon enough.

By His mercy,
I Corinthians 4:1
Rev. John S. Mahon – St. Petersburg, Russia – heading east into Siberia with God’s holy Word.

Category:  Sept. 2012 - Russia

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