Sunday, November 12, 2006

Harvest Sunday

I was raised in a family that loved missions. When I was in the 5th grade some of my parents good friends moved to South Africa. My parents told them that they (and their 4 kids) would be willing to make a once in a lifetime trip to South Africa to spend their first Christmas with them. So for Christmas of my 6th grade year, When my youngest brother was around 2 we all 6 went.

What happened on that trip in my parent's hearts was life altering. What was planned as a once in a lifetime experience became so much more in a way only the Lord could do....My dad has been back to Africa almost every year since then. My mom has made countless trips to Africa and elsewhere. I have been to Africa I believe 7 times, many of those by myself, the last trip with Tony, as well as spending summers in Russia and in Thailand. I believe my brothers have traveled overseas many more times than I have...but I lost count a long time ago. My sister, as many of you know, has now given 8 years of her life to the people of Benin, West Africa. Payton and I (you will hear more about this later) took a step of faith this past week and sent off for his passport. The two of us hope to make the trip in February to see Kelly and her family. We will miss Tony and Benjamin like crazy....(but like I said, more on that later.)

Today is our churches Harvest Sunday...the day we bring before the Lord a goal (This year 1,332,359 dollars) and then our congregation raises or pledges that money to be given in the next year. Every year I walk in to the auditorium and see that banner with those numbers I pray the same prayer..."May it be, May it be..." It is a prayer filled with memories of faces I have seen around the world, faces that are hearing about Jesus for the first time, faces that are longing for a kingdom not yet seen.

Today has been special.This is the first year Payton is aware of what is happening and understands ( a little bit) of his part. Harvest Sunday always kicks off with a flag ceremony where the flags from all the nations are walked into the auditorium. This year Payton is a flag bearer. He woke up at 4:30 AM ready to go to the church to parade his flag. We have been excited throughout the day to hear updates as the money comes in...excited... because the Lord is enabling us to reach a goal, but even more thrilled because for every dollar that comes in even more of Him goes forth.

Harvest Sunday always brings with it great anticipation for me...Anticpation that more of His Kingdom is coming and anticipation that our family, can once again, play a part. Today I anticipate that as Payton pours his can of coins into the wheel barrow, as he carries the flag, perhaps the Lord is planting in him a heart for missions, a heart that longs to see the Word of God go forth, a heart that might one day go himself. May it be Lord, May it be.


Courtney said...

I don't know how many years I've watched those flags come in and the kids pour their coins in the wheelbarrows, but I get choked up every time. Seeing Randy and Tori right at the beginning and thinking of all they've given would certainly make anyone emotional! I always love watching your family's participation and was thrilled to see Payton with his flag (you did a great job too). May God pour out His rich rewards on your family for your dedication and heart for people around the world.

mindy tyndall said...

Becky...what a precious sight it was to see Payton in the Flag Ceremony-all 3 services!!! We are so proud of you, Payton! I don't know if you have heard, but as of this morning, we are 90% there on the goal! Praise God!
Watching the children take their coins to the front is such a blessing. I watched Matt take Jack up front on Sunday evening and after he put them in, he said "it's all gone". Even a toddler can understand "giving money to Jesus".
I am so happy for you and Payton and will be praying for you in your upcoming "mission". What a great experience for such a little boy! I believe I've said it before...I think we will hear great things about Payton in the future!
Hugs - M

Randy & Kelly Vaughn said...

I can easily imagine Payton's excitement about being a part of this special day! I can't wait for you to bring him to Benin where he can finally begin to understand where we have been all these years! Our lives have sure been blessed by that decision that Mom and Dad made to go to Africa! (that decision was difficult for them to make at the time and was a major step in faith)
I love you so much and can not express how special the last month was to feel so renewed in my friendship with you and your family. We are always close but daily time with you for 3 weeks was so wonderful! And all the phone calls since I have been back!! Thank you so much!!
I love you Beck!

vicki said...

what a testimony to God's power as he works through His people at RHCC. Your description is just electric...wish I could have been there. Love to all, Aunt V

Anonymous said...

I love Harvest Sunday! Everytime the flags go by I just cry. I get so emotional looking at all of the places that God is working. I think about the people who have sacrificed everything to spread His word. It is just such a great day.

Anonymous said...

Your little man did a great job carrying his flag Sunday. I know it made your parents proud to see their grandchildren in the parade