• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Pause And Reflect

As I sit and think about this amazing vacation I think of two things. God's beautiful creation and how I see Him in everything! I think of a conversation I had with 25 year old, Rhyeme, who is in the band, the other day. He was sharing his faith with Mike and I while we sat on the beach. He shared some about growing up in Jamaica and some personal things going on in his life. He learned to play the drums in church. He said his mom took him to church every Sunday and he would watch an older boy play the drums and tried to mimic him. We shared a lot about what they are doing here and the beauty that surrounds this place. Rhyeme said being able to meet people and make friends had been so special. He said, "like this conversation we are having. This is no coincidence. God knew this was going to happen." I agree with Rhyeme.

Last night before we landed in Charlotte we already had a message from Romaine telling Mike he already missed him and to let him know when we were home safe. Earlier in our trip we also met a couple that we were only with a short while but we plan on visiting each other and going on a trip together. That is not "our normal." We made some precious friends this trip that will never be forgotten. The kind that you know God brought together.

Mike, Ivey and I were supposed to go to Guyana on a mission trip with our church next month. Ivey was not able to go because of school. Then Mike could not go. I thought about going but for the first time I did not feel like I was supposed to go. Mike, the girls and I have done mission trips through the years and they were always special so I did not understand my feelings. Later, God revealed the reason why I was not going. Yesterday I was thinking about how this trip, in some ways, has been like a mission trip.

Like a mission trip, God has revealed Himself. God has revealed Himself in His creations. From the sea to the stars and moon. Genesis 1: 21, "So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds..." The gorgeous aqua blue sea is a continual testimony to God. Jeremiah 31: 35, "This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar --- the Lord Almighty is his name..." And these things happen day after day and night after night.

Psalm 19: 1-6, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth." Psalm 8: 3-4, "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?" When I look at the vast sky at night I am reminded how small I am but how special I am.

On mission trips I always meet some special friends that I will never forget. Even though our cultures are total opposites, we have the most important thing in common - our faith. I being from the United States and have seen God in Grace Bay. Friends from Turks & Caicos and Jamaica have seen God here in Grace Bay. And we have shared our testimonies with each other. We have watched God renew our spirits. Matthew 18: 20, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” 1 Peter 3: 15, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," By just visiting on the beach we were able to bring hope to each other. When you know where all things good come from and you know you are blessed you cannot tell about your life without sharing God's goodness.

Matthew 28: 19-20, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus' last command to his followers was that we make disciples. First we have to be a disciple. Making disciples means getting involved with people. This process will develop friendships and watch what God can do with that!

And last but not least, my soul has been restored. Psalm 23: 3, "he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake." Being in such beautiful nature and being surrounded by such beautiful people has refreshed my soul. Thank you, Jesus, for being such a special part of this vacation. Thank you for opening my eyes to know that I was made for this very hour and so were my friends from this trip.

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