Iroquois River District sends team to Henderson Settlement
By Charles Graul
Co-chair, IRD Mission Team
It all began as a question. “Want to go on a district mission trip to Henderson Settlement?”
We asked. You said yes! We asked again and you gave and gave and gave!
Back in the early 1990’s was the last district mission trip Iroquois River took we were told at the kickoff picnic held in June. Two years ago a survey was sent out to the 90+ churches of our district. There was much favorable response back then. It all had started as an invitation by one pastor to another at a covenant meeting.
“Why don’ you get a district mission trip to Henderson settlement going?”
There were many excuses not to get one going on it. Eventually all those excuses ran their course. Last August another survey went out and again there was a positive response. In fact it was beyond our expectations. People kept saying I want to go. We met in three different areas of our district to help organize and see the people who said they’d like to go. Many had never been on a mission trip before.
With much prayer a committee planned step by step just how to take on this undertaking. When one of us would get discouraged the other members of the team would speak that word of faith we needed to carry on.
Yes there were sleepless nights wondering, “Just how are we going to pull this off?” “Where is the money going to come from to pay for the projects?” Three appeals were sent out. The first two by letters and the last one by a personal phone call. In the end, thanks be to God, the churches responded with their financial and prayer support.
Seventy-nine people attended. One left after the first night. His daughter was having her first baby and grandpa wanted to be there for her. Three generations of one family participated. Another grandma and her grandson were part of a team. All in all, 16 projects were worked on by 10 different teams. Almost $12,000 was donated.
We were all strangers mostly when we first arrived. We left mostly as friends. Days were hot and wet in those Kentucky hills. People from age 10 to 82 worked side by side. We laughed. We cried. We worshipped. We sweated. We played. We took communion together on our last night there.
Some of us left early. Some of us came late. But we came. Most of us would not have gone on a mission trip if it hadn’t been for a district mission trip. Many of us want to go again, next year. A whole trailer and several truck loads of donations of clothes and furniture from our district churches were also taken down.
Thanks to all the team leaders. Thanks to the committee for all their planning. Thanks to all who came. Thanks to all who gave and helped us go. Thanks for your prayers. Only one hurt her thumb with a hammer. Only one got stung by a bee.
As one put it, ‘we learned we weren’t there to straighten anybody else out. We were there to serve.’ It was a humbling experience. Many of us didn’t know what to do or how to do what we were asked to do. But somehow it all worked out and we were proud of what we accomplished.
One in our group had some money stolen at the site we were trying to help. The entire group donated money to help out and the total amount was repaid. That’s the way the Body of Christ is supposed to operate. God is good!