The Twelve

"The Twelve"


Twelve people with twelve personalities set out on a mission trip that would take them to the poorest part of Atlanta.


Even though nine had been together on the mission trip the previous year, they still did not know what to expect from each other. The same would be felt from the three who were on their first trip.


Everyone had an assignment and a rough idea of how things would be before they left.  However, when they arrived late that night after a 14-hour trip, they found plans were changed.  Groups had to be rearranged, supplies had to be divided, lessons had to re-planned, and some serving would involve late nights.  All of which could have been a disaster. Yet, they found themselves working harder to get things together to prepare for the week.


Each day had its own unique schedule where they could feel something changing in themselves while seeing each other in different ways.  They saw gifts each one brought to the trip, while discovering their own.  They were open to experiences, knowledge, and ideas from each one no matter what the age.  They learned to ignored the "perfumed bodies" walking around since they couldn't take showers until 8:00 at night.  They survived the heat, humidity, flatten air mattress, bug bites, car trips to the various destinations in rough traffic, early wake up calls by good morning kisses, and forgotten personal items.  They learned they could do a prayer or devotional with little notice. They saw how they could handle themselves face to face with the homeless while bringing food and conversation to them. They saw children desperately needing attention, which could be overwhelming, while teaching bible lessons. They worked together to paint in a very compact stairwell trying to leave more paint on the stairwell instead of themselves. They learned how to go out two by two per the mission's rules, and saw the reason why when this rule would be used to protect each other. They felt their hearts filling with compassion for those they visited in the nursing home as well as each item of food they placed in bags to be given to those in need.  They saw each positive situation and each negative situation molding their hearts into one. They understood a little more the words spoken by Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a dream," when they walked where he walked.


Twelve people with twelve personalities came back from a trip to the poorest part of Atlanta to find they were richer in respect, understanding, acceptance and love not only those they served.... but for each other.



"The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" -- Martin Luther King Jr






Romans 12

James 4:10


©Melinda Sutherland 7/1/2017











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