We have come to the last week of our assignment here in North Carolina. It really hit home when on Wednesday the new Construction Supervisor arrived to take over from John and me. As at other times, we did not quite finish what we thought we would finish but we know that with the next group of volunteers coming this Saturday the work that we started will get done.
What is common at all DRS sites is that on Wednesday or Thursday evening of the last week we have an evening of “celebration”. We celebrate and thank God for the camaraderie we enjoyed as a team and for the safety we experienced while working and driving many miles to go to the work sites. And thus with this group too we had a fun evening where we played games and told stories of how the work here in North Carolina has had an impact on our lives. We then shared some of the stories we heard from the various homeowners. We laughed together and realized that although we started as another group of “strangers”, we had become like “family”.
In Proverbs 3 we read:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
That means that after weeks of work here in North Carolina we now go home and pick up the tasks that are awaiting us in our own churches and communities.
For John and me, Proverbs 3 reminds us that yet another season of life has come to an end as we have decided to retire from Disaster Response work. This assignment has been our last one, which is why we chose to do a “double” assignment of six weeks. Looking back at 15 years of serving and over 40 assignments to various places in the US and Canada, we can say that we have been blessed to have been able to participate in it. Proverbs 3 is not only about “endings” but also about “beginnings” – for John and me that means that now that our time with DRS is over, other opportunities might open up. And we are excited to see where God will lead us and how He will use us.
Thank you for journeying with us on our DRS trip to Aurora, North Carolina. I will close with quoting a portion of Ecclesiastes 3:
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
– John and Marguerite Ridder