In late August 2007, a group of 17 members of St. Paul UCC in Nashville, Illinois, journeyed down to Biloxi to work alongside the folks at Back Bay Mission, rehabilitating homes of the poverty-stricken on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We found, upon our return, that our small contributions had big pay-offs not just for the people of Mississippi, but, indeed, for each of us who went on the trip. The devastation left by Hurricane Katrina, along with the generalized poverty of the area served as an eye-opener for all of us, and a heartbreaker for many
Thus, our mission trip, more than just changing lives in Mississippi, changed hearts in Nashville, opening up a continuing conversation of how we can be better stewards in God's hurting world.
When we returned home, our trip was the source of many questions from congregation members and community members alike, so the local paper ran an article. This article is evidence of theological wonder that mission is by nature a reciprocal activity, and often, the giver feels that they received more than they gave. Ah…the wonder of God's mystery and grace!