Notes from Ron N-"Blessed to be a blessing"
Ron N went to Biloxi for the first time this year, and although he had some initial trepidation, he came out a week later a man with even more purpose.
Heb 10:24-25 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.
I had the wonderful opportunity to serve with 17 other men on week 2 of our 2011 EBC SGV Katrina Relief Team
In reflecting on my experience, since our return, I am struck by how God met me on a number of levels. As a member of previous Katrina missionaries’ MSG’s, I had heard glowing reviews of the experience, the staff and the people affected by Katrina.
One of the first things I did upon our return was to request the letter that Brad Holland, our site supervisor had written to the church last year. It brought tears to my eyes as I read his comments with different eyes, having experienced his mission field first-hand.
One of his observations resonated deeply with me. He stated, “Many assume that a missions trip to Mississippi with Habitat is about building houses, but I tell you from living in this field of missions day in and day out, that volunteers come down not only to build the edifice of a house, but for the edification of the children of God – it is God’s children both in homeowners and in workers that are in need of edification…. This is the second mission; the one overlooked. It is the mission of edifying people; of community. This is the relief of the workers.”
I admit that the first couple days I was at the worksite, I was somewhat obsessed about not messing up on the job. Then, on Thursday, 5/20/11, I woke up at 3:30A in the morning to go to the bathroom (I know, TMI) and thought I would have 2 more hours to rest. God had other ideas. I felt He spoke to me to speak encouragement into people’s lives, and to be intentional in affirming certain individuals, including Brad. Notes I read from my MSG for the day reinforced this notion, even though they had been prepared before my departure.
I hadn’t really even spoken to Brad onsite much before Thursday, but after we had our morning briefing, I specifically approached him and told him how impactful his “epistle” had been to influencing me to consider coming. He was appreciative of my encouragement, and stated that he hadn’t been able to do much writing recently. I had no idea he was a creative writing major in college!
Later in the week, he did a rousing rendition of MLK’s service speech. I then asked him if he had done some acting in college. He said yes. Then, on our last day at the worksite, he played some on the guitar. I asked him when he would be breaking out the dancing, but that was one area he did not claim as an area of expertise. I left him with the moniker, “Renaissance Man.”
Before I went to Mississippi, I wasn’t sure if Brad could live up to his advance reputation, but after meeting him in person, he was as advertised and more. It was a real blessing to get to know this dear brother in Christ. I’ve friended him on Facebook and he sent me a kind message, “I was glad to have you here on the Coast, and am thrilled by your courage to come. You were in good spirit whenever I saw you and that, along with your edification of others was quite an uplifting thing on site…. Best wishes, and thanks again for your time, and the encouraging words. Brother In Christ, Brad”