July 19, 2016
Hi, my name is Tim Core. Champaign was my eight mission trip, all as an adult chaperone. Our work team, which consisted of me and five teenagers from five different states, was assigned to help finish building a wheel chair accessible fishing dock at a large county park 30 miles east of Champaign, near Danville, IL.
A park maintenance employee named Larry, who has worked at the park for over 40 years, would direct the work. Larry had built most of the dock and boardwalk leading to the dock, and just needed some help with the final touches. From the start I could see that Larry was a very skilled carpenter. (We later learned from another source, not from Larry, that he built his own house. We also learned that Larry was a leader at his church and in the community.) What impressed me most about Larry, besides his humbleness, was his patience. He never got upset if one of the teens struggled with the work or made a mistake; he would respectfully show them the proper way to do things. As the week progressed the teens showed vast improvements with their skills, so much so that we finished the dock with enough time left to take a boat ride.
Similar to previous mission trips, we attended mass in the morning, and in the evening participated in “Program.” Program included praise and worship, music, humorous entertainment, a dance party, Reconciliation, Adoration, and messages about our faith.
One message that is repeated is that God has a plan, or mission, for you. We have all heard this in the past. For me, and perhaps you, this causes a bit of frustration by not really understanding “my mission.” It seems to be a complicated question. If God has a mission for me, why won’t He just send me a vision, or dream, something to let me know what it is? I asked the teens in my work group if they knew their mission; they all said they did not.
This caused me to ponder, not just think about, but ponder the question of my mission. Eventually, I thought about a song by a Christian singer named Steven Curtis Chapman. The song is called Do Everything. The song says no matter where you are in life - a young mom sweeping up cheerios or matching socks, a student in math class, or a guy flipping burgers or making mergers - do every little thing to the glory of the One that made you. Reflect Jesus in all you do; He made you to tell the story of His grace.
So to me, I guess the mission is that simple: let everything you do reflect Jesus.
God reminds us of our mission all the time, but do we listen? I was looking for my mission in a vision or dream, but I found it in a simple song. And I saw an example of someone completing God’s mission through a humble carpenter named Larry, from Danville, Illinois.I thank you for every free will offering you made, every prayer you said and every family member you sent to help make our mission trip possible. We can feel very small and insignificant in this world. There truly is an impact to your contributions. Thank you for making a difference!