FIRST CHURCH: JOSÉ + JOSH
We are so happy when people visit Hidden Springs Mission & get to know our community, and we’re also thankful to those who come back again + again!
Meet José & Josh – two members of the First Church team that came out in the beginning of July.
I’m a behind the scenes kind of person. So much so that it was difficult to find pictures to share with you all about my favorite moments on our trip. I’m behind the camera most of the time. I’m a number cruncher, logistical person. In preparing for this summer’s trip I was worried. Concerned about how it would all play out. The trip was easy to plan for in some ways. We’ve done it before, and outside of minor changes, it would simply mean to duplicate what we’ve done in the past. It was the things out of our control that stressed me. Putting together a trip like this in the midst of a global pandemic is nerve-racking. There’s a lot of unknowns and it just leads to a lot of questions. A lot of “What if…?” questions.
All those questions seemingly disappear once you see the first smiling face. The “What if…?” questions took on a whole new meaning. I remember sitting there watching as our teens played with the kids and thinking “What if you just make yourself available?”.
We (humans) like to have everything in our grasp. It needs to be in our control. That’s when we feel the safest. We find comfort there. But a lot of times in those moments we miss opportunities to “just be”. We miss opportunities to be available in the moment. A lot of times that is all people really need. Someone to be there with them in that moment.
Whether it was giving a piggyback ride, sharing a popsicle, or helping a kid across the monkey bars, it is in those moments that the kids will remember that we were available, and for many of them they don’t have that in their life.
I remember thinking to myself “Be available. It can change someone’s life. Stop thinking of the “What if…?” and just be available. God’s got this.”
I share a picture of the playground because it resembles that idea to me. The idea of slowing down and spending a few minutes to be available to someone. Back in September of 2020 I had the privilege of helping put the playground equipment together with a few other guys. It was frustrating but we had fun doing it together. As I left HSM on that trip I couldn’t help put pray that I would one day see kids play on that playground. I didn’t know how long the pandemic would last (and we still don’t). It already stopped one summer trip from happening and 2021 was iffy (there’s that word again). But God presented the opportunity and we took the chance. I got to see kids laughing and swinging all over that playground.
It was amazing to see our team show up and be available. Available to talk, pray, laugh, sing, play, teach, share a meal, give a hug, listen. It’s because of the grace of God and people making themselves available for over 20 years that we’re able to see lives changed for eternity. It’s in those moments of being available that I believe the love of God is clearly shown and given to others.
That’s why I continue to come back. To be someone available for God to use in the lives of those who need Him – even during the “What if…?” moments in life.
Josh’s Favorite Moments:
- Grandma Mary dancing at the start of VBS
- doing VBS pickups
- seeing all the kids happy and ready to come out again
- small groups within the teen vbs group – seeing them engaged and answering the questions
Why Josh Keeps Coming Back:
This was my 4th year and 5th trip. It’s like my second home at this point. I love the people and relationships that have been formed. And I love how God stretches you while out there and you really have to depend on Him to make it through the week.
Thanks so much for reading – I’ll be sharing from more team members next week!…
• Interested in bringing a group out to serve our community? Contact us & we can chat!