Okay so, my grandpa owns a garbage collections company and offered me a job for the Summer back in May. For so many reasons it’s been a blessing. My grandpa is even working around Slovakia meetings, agreed to pay for the gas for the commute, and provides food and a place to stay while I’m down there. If you know where Diamond Lake is, you know the area I work in. We collect garbage from the campgrounds in the area as well as the Lemolo Lake and Diamond Lake resorts. But for such a great opportunity, I loathed it for the first couple weeks. For one reason or another I found myself just driving down and seeing it as a long commute to sleep, work, and then back. I found myself with the money as my only goal for doing what I was doing, and ready to quit if the first paycheck didn’t meet my expectations. One Thursday, I begrudgingly got back into my little car, attempting to prepare myself for another four hour drive. Around two and a half hours into that drive, I was worshipping in song and it became one of those moments so glorious there aren’t words to rightly express it. Suddenly, the money didn’t matter, the people I was surrounded by where I stayed and worked did. God made it clear in that moment that my primary purpose for working in a national forest was not to further myself with the funds, but to just be with the people He put me with and then keep serving Him even in an unfamiliar culture.
When we get to Slovakia, it would be so easy to shirk or forget God’s purpose for putting us there. But it’s so exhausting too. Before that commute, I only noticed the day all the trucks broke down at once, the day where we shoveled snow all day at the beginning of June, and the weekend where I became sick due to a myriad of causes. I could only focus on my own distress. When I gave everything over to God, I noticed the smell of honey suckles, the snow melting away, saw my cousins win a baseball game, and even saw a small black bear! I was given a necessary figurative knee in the gut and reminded that however coarse the “forest/ hill people” may be, God loves them inanely. He hung out with people like them. The work days now end rewardingly. If there’s one prayer I can have right now, it’s that we don’t lose sight of our reason for going where we’re going: To just focus, listen to, build relationships with, and serve the people God loves. If we’re not on track with what God is doing, this whole thing is just going to be an exhausting waste of time, energy, and resources. Seems like a “no duh” statement but we’re all pretty dumb sheep after all.
I know we’re all dithering with anticipation. Thanks for reading, keeping the whole team in your prayers, and being a part of this!