Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Ties that Bind

God had a surprise waiting for Ashley Wentling in the mission field. She shares it with us here, in her own words:

I have a wonderful group of friends from my small group. I also have other friends from church that I’ve known for what seems like my whole life. When I signed up for this mission, I didn’t expect to be expanding this tightly-knit group. I wasn’t worried about making new friends; to tell you the truth, it didn’t even cross my mind.

Even when we arrived at the airport, I immediately sought out my friends, not bothering to talk to the fellow missionaries on my team that I already knew were coming on the trip with me.

Eventually I came to the realization that I would be with this group of people all week, so I might as well grow close to them, as well as God. And now, almost 5 days later, I have grown so much closer to everyone in our group – from inside jokes, to secret handshakes.

I can’t say that I built these relationships by myself. God has been showing us miracles left and right. When people experience the work of God together, it’s hard to not grow closer to each other. Our desire to serve God brought us together, but the work of God kept us together.

Even my sister and I have been getting along, which I’m sure not even our parents will believe.

Last year’s trip to New Orleans was the best week of my life, that is, until now. We’ve watched the power of prayer prevail, and the unity of Christ work in wonderful ways. I can’t wait until next year for yet another wonderful opportunity to bring me closer to even more people.

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