02 Jul Christ as the Cornerstone
My experience in Allendale was refreshing. It wasn’t refreshing in the sense that it was relaxing or easy going. We were running around in 100 degree weather and those of us involved behind the scenes were continually focusing our attention on the many moving parts that made this trip work.
No, this trip rejuvenated my soul because in it I was able to see something bigger than myself. God was going before us, and He was uniting us with His children in Allendale to ultimately bring glory to Him. We aren’t the solution to anyone’s problems, God is, and He is the Healer of hearts, homes, schools, and cities.
This was my first trip to Allendale, and I didn’t know what to expect. I had never been a part of a local mission trip with a focus like this one: to build relationships and be a working encourager for improvement in the area. I didn’t expect to meet the passionate brothers and sisters in Christ who welcomed us into their community. We were able to come together for a common purpose- to bring glory to God through the renewal of their community.
We started the week off right by joining in worship of our Creator on Sunday with fellow believers there. I am amazed at the power and love of God and how He can bring unity among believers from different cultures and backgrounds for His glory. Sunday was a beautiful glimpse into what shared community in Christ looks like.
He can bring unity among believers from different cultures and backgrounds for His glory.
Sunday evening was a time of food and fun with our group from Grace and a bunch from one of the churches in Allendale County. The Lord brought a torrential downpour not long before we met at the local softball field. The storm went as quickly as it came and stole some of the heat as it left. The air was cooler than usual and we had bug spray to ward off the pesky gnats. These small blessings were a welcome gift on a hot day. Memorable moments were shared during this time with the local believers through worship, conversation, food, and games, and if you looked closely enough, you could see a common passion being shared: living for the glory of God.
The rest of the week was a continuation of what I saw on Sunday, but in different ways. We partnered with a local church in Fairfax (a neighboring town), and they allowed us to join what they had going on for the children of Allendale county that were out of school for the summer. Some of our highschoolers and leaders played games with the children and taught them about faith and Biblical masculine and feminine roles.
If you looked closely enough, you could see a common passion being shared:
living for the glory of God.
Opportunities abounded to forge relationships and encourage others at the church, in the nursing home, and at a basketball camp. Some teams from Grace got sweaty and dirty doing service projects in the community garden and alongside a team from a local church that helped us prepare land for a future park. We broke up into groups on Tuesday and enjoyed dinner with some local believers.
Finally, one of the highlights of our trip was the cultural excursion to Columbia. Elementary-aged children from Allendale buddied up with our high school students on this day trip to the Riverbanks Zoo and USC’s main campus. This was a great time of relationship building and exploring what there is outside of Allendale. By the grace of God, we focused our energy toward all of this and more.
I pray that God was glorified in what we did during our time in Allendale and not just in what we sang on Sunday. Please join us in praying that God will continue to move in the hearts and lives of the people of Allendale to transform their community for His glory.
-Sara Brunson, Kairos Summer Intern