Braggin’ Rights

Lara Schopp Articles, Joe Walker, Mission Trips

By Rev. Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care

Yes, this is a photo of a hole. No, there is nothing unique or special about this hole.

The utility crews were peering into this hole the other day as I was walking through our parking lot. I asked if I could look, too, and they graciously agreed. I casually mentioned that it reminded me of the holes we dug for the foundation of a community center on our most recent mission in Nicaragua.

“We dug those,” I reminisced, “by hand and on a 40 degree sloping hillside.” That elicited an appreciative “Wow!” and head nods from the crew.

OK, I confess I was doing a little bragging but, hey, we earned those “braggin’ rights.”

It may sound silly, but every time I see a hole like that my mind flashes back to that rocky, dusty hillside in Nicaragua. I think of how much we enjoyed getting to know the wonderful people in that tiny village. Talking, laughing, sweating, and aching together. Priceless memories.

And the construction was just one aspect of that mission. There was the woman with the shattered leg; Betsy cared for her and we bought her a walker to use. And an elderly woman with a wound on her foot; Anne tenderly dressed that wound every day. Karen taught health classes and we distributed the kits that our donors here at church had made possible through their generosity. Lance fashioned balloon animals to the delight of the little ones. We all fumbled and apologized our way through conversations with whatever Spanish we could muster.

In my experience, everyone who has served alongside our brothers and sisters – here in town during Grace at Work, on our recovery teams such as New Orleans, or on our international trips – has memories that last a lifetime. And we are always eager to share those stories because those sweet and inspiring memories are made possible by our congregation’s strong historic support for our partnerships and missions.

So, when you think about it, whether you can go, or pray, or donate or all of the above, you can rightly and proudly claim your share of our “braggin’ rights.”