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Joey’s Trip to Honduras

4 Feb

My mom and brother have spent the last week in Honduras on a mission trip with our church, Trinity Lutheran Ministries in Edwardsville. My mom is a Honduras veteran, maybe her 10th year this year, but this was Joey’s first trip. He posted the below words on the Facebook page where they story their week, and I wanted to share them with you.

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Written by Joey Rathert:
I’ve never been out of the country until this week. I had some idea of what to expect because my mom and sister, Katie, had tried to prepare me. They used words and pictures, but no number of words and no number of pictures could prepare me for what I’ve seen. “It is a very poor country,” the…y told me. They were right. But the statement does not do the poverty justice. You have to see it with your eyes. “The people are very kind,” they assured me. But that statement does not do the graciousness justice. You have to feel it with your heart.
The combination of those two characteristics doesn’t quite mesh, especially for a middle-class American like me. At home we often gauge our happiness based on material things that can be bought with money or achieved through our ambition. This way of thinking will always leave us disappointed. However, there is one characteristic the Hondurans and I share – we are sinners. It was great to see how  many of the people here have already received the gift of salvation through their faith in Jesus.
However, many times while speaking to the people at the brigades about their faith (or lack thereof), they express feelings of despair, as if they were sure that their sins were just too great for God to seriously be interested in any kind of personal relationship with them. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we have been able to share the very Good News through his Word. Now we have one more thing in common with some of these people we have seen this week — the assurance of eternity with our heavenly Father through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!

Mom 2 Mom – Fall 2011!

5 Aug

It’s back! Which is a great thing for any moms and grandmas out there looking for a few things to stock up on. Essentially, a Mom 2 Mom sale is a large garage sale dedicated to all things kids. I’m talking clothes from premie to youth sizes, shoes, dresses, toys, books, nursing supplies, diaper bags, as well as large items like pack and plays, high chairs, cribs, and more.  The inventory that we have is completely dependent upon what the Moms that sign up to have a table bring in. You never know what’s going to be there, but you can’t beat the prices when you find what you’re looking for!

My son is now 19 months old. We’ve used these Mom 2 Mom sales to buy the next rounds of clothing, furniture and toys for the grandmas’ houses, and toys for ours.  You will not want to miss this event if you’re expecting, a new mom, an experienced (not old!) mom, or a grandma.

Mom 2 Mom Sale
Trinity Lutheran Church
Satuday, September 24th
9am-12n
Admission $1.00

Interested in having a table? Wanting to clean out the basement, attic, or garage and help out a family looking for a bargain? Get your table registered for NOW so that we can save your space! Contact Casey Shank for all the details by emailing casey_diane@yahoo.com.

My Joplin Visit: In Word & Video

4 Aug

Below is the blog that I wrote for my work website that I run.  I wanted to share it with you all as well.
Just two weeks ago I was in a 15 passenger van on my way to a new perspective on life. Along with 18 other members of my congregation from Trinity Lutheran Ministries in Edwardsville, IL, I ventured to Joplin, MO to lend a hand.
The moment we hit the tornado ravaged area my chest got tight and my hand found its way to my jaw-dropped mouth. Total devastation. The landscape resembled a war zone. The desolate neighborhoods sat quietly in heaps of dismantled construction material and piled debris. The magnitude of what had happened just two months ago was bleak to my eyes.
The imagery that is left behind in my mind from my experience in Joplin has caused a system reboot in my mindset. I am a conservative woman with a Christian heritage. I’ve been raised to respect God, Family, and Friends…in that order. I’ve realized that when the ancillary elements of our daily lives are uprooted and removed, we are left with just that – God, Family, and Friends. These are the things that make life worth living, and for the folks in Joplin, life worth rebuilding.
While our country is reeling in an economic crisis, it seems so evident to me what is needed to fix it. We’ve become a society of privilege. The things that we have in life determine the quality we have in life. And if one man’s things outweigh another man’s things, something should be done to reconcile the discrepancy. But when the tornado hits, and all is taken away, what is it that is left?  Is either man’s character or reputation taken along as well?  The American Dream is that of opportunity, sacrifice, and determination. And that Dream will be what makes either man successful once the storm has passed.
What happens when you remove all of the “things” in your life, what do you have left? What you have left is what is most important.

Camp Piasa: Day 2

22 Jun

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Camp Piasa: Day 2

22 Jun

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