Hana: Beginnings

Long time no blog!

For those of you who didn’t know, I’m currently leading a short spring break service trip with Hana Missions until Saturday morning.  It’s only been about two full days so far here at Paterson, NJ, yet I can firmly say that God has far exceeded our expectations, whether it’s through his interruptions or the revelation of His heart….

It all began with the long car-ride up.  We were driving up from Roanoke, VA after the spring retreat and of course the rain just happened to follow us the entire way up to New Jersey…  After hours of driving in the rain, we decided to take a final pit stop at a rest area about 1 hour away from Paterson (off of NJ tpke).  As we were getting into our cars, Billy (one of our drivers) realized that his keys weren’t with him, but were wedged right underneath his santa doll on his driver’s seat.  Three hours late on our anticipated schedule and 4 hours away from home, we were locked out of our car in the cold with no help. gasp.

The rain continued to pour over us as we tried to call for some help.  Some of the boys asked around for clothes hanger or something to break into the car.  I, on the other hand, tried to stay calm as I lifted up a prayer, just asking God to show His glory.  I know locking ourselves out of a car is infinitesimal in the grand scale of things, but we were already 3 hours late to the beginning of our missions trip.  So I asked God to just send some help on the way, and not let this get in the way of doing His Kingdom work during the week.

It didn’t take long for help to arrive.  And it came in bunches.

Random travelers came into the rest area and offered their help and encouraging words as they saw our feeble attempts at breaking into the car.  The burger king guy gave us some sort of a metal stick… one guy gave us a list of phone numbers that we could call… this one lady randomly happened to have a metal hanger in her car… one guy randomly had a hammer…

Eventually this guy (J.J.) helped us unlock the car (amazingly) and we safely finished our journey into Paterson.

It was definitely an interruption from God that none of us had expected… and like I said, locking ourselves out of a car isn’t that big of a deal in an eternal perspective, but it was a necessary disturbance that caused us to lift up our eyes to God once again.

To be honest, our team hadn’t spent much time on our knees before coming into this trip… but God is still gracious, He is constantly fixing our vision by His constant reminders of His matchless glory. We spent some time in thanks and repentance for neglecting Him.  We asked that this would set the tone for the rest of the trip; to never forget who He is.

Even though we were driving up fresh off of our spring retreat, God was continuously reminding us, even from the start of the trip that we are capable of absolutely NOTHING without Him… that we are to depend on Him for everything…

I thank you if your attention span was long enough to make it all the way down here.  Usually I don’t blog until after the trip is over, but I had to share this story and also to ask for prayers.

As for our location, we happen to be right across the street from a local prison.

We’ve already had opportunities to share about God and various creative ways to serve the people here.



p.s. drugs are for slugs