Heart Lag and Pop-Tarts

Today, I am blessed to have a guest post from my friend, and Director of Missions, at the church I attend. Recently, Teresa led a mission team to Rwanda. This is what she sent to the other travelers upon their return.

 On Returning

By Teresa Sherwood

To Returning Mission Teams:

I’m sure a lot of people have asked you this week if you have jet lag, but has anyone asked you if you are suffering from heart lag? I know for myself, returning from these kinds of mission trips can bring on a few days (or maybe more than a few) of feeling somehow disconnected, as though I don’t quite belong here. Several years ago, I encountered this feeling in a profound way and, in sorting through it, I discovered that it was not only a matter of the heart but a very real spiritual challenge.

It was the year of our first high school mission trip to Mexico. We had spent the week working at an orphanage where the conditions for the children were really deplorable. When we left, we knew that we had only scratched the surface of meeting the needs of these little kids who had laughed and played with us all week. On the last day, we were honored with a fellowship time that included LOTS of songs and prayers and, as a very special treat, we were served Coke and Pop-Tarts. Little 4-year-olds came around and served each of us, making sure we had all eaten before they did. We all understood the value of their gift and we were humbled by it.

I arrived back home last Saturday night and by Monday morning I was on a flight to Vancouver. There, I met up with my husband, Donnie, who had been attending a meeting. Then we embarked on an Alaskan cruise. As I sat at a table overflowing with food, looked out at the beautiful, cool mountains, and made small talk with the well-dressed new friends at my table, I was overcome by the memory of the little faces for which my simple presence had been a blessing. I thought of the children who never had enough to eat, who slept in sweltering dorms, and who lacked clean water. I felt their presence at the table and, rather than anticipating the beautiful five-course meal, I realized that I was thinking of Pop-Tarts. I found myself asking my God why we lived in a world where some had not enough and others had too much. And why was I one who had too much? I looked at the other people at the table and realized that they didn’t feel the presence of these children, and they probably didn’t know how valuable Pop-Tarts can be. I realized at that moment that I had left a part of myself in an orphanage in Mexico and it had been replaced with an abiding sense of the spirit of God’s children.

A few years ago, I left a part of myself in Africa, under a tree. I gave myself away to a little girl in a yellow dress and she gave me a piece of herself that will always be with me. In that moment, I found once again how truly real the love of Jesus Christ is as it passes among His children.

I have never been able to answer the question of why some have not enough while others have too much, but I have found that God is completely present in both want and plenty. I do not believe that God would have us neglect the beauty He has created or fail to enjoy the goodness of the world. But I do believe that He calls us to put it in perspective, to understand that we neither need nor deserve such gifts. We simply thank God for them and then give.

If you are finding that you struggle this week with difficult feelings, I pray that you will explore them, pray about them, and offer them to God. He is probably making a place in your heart for something new, a blessing that will expand your territory.

Thank you for sharing yourselves. You are a blessing.

 “Feed the hungry! Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness and the darkness shall be as bright as day.”  Isaiah 58:10

 I don’t know about you, but I will never look at a Pop-Tart the same way again. 

Blessings on your day.


boren 1

A local elementary school is being rebuilt. It’s old and over-crowded. So when the doors closed on the last day of this past school year, the school was closed. The children will go to a different school next year while their school is being rebuilt. But that doesn’t mean the old school out lived its usefulness. There were still many items in the classrooms that could be used, lockers, desks, chairs, whiteboards, etc. The school district auctioned them off by classroom. My church bought more than a dozen classrooms for our Mexico Mission Ministries. Part of our youth mission project was to load up the items we purchased. In two days, 24 students and 6 adults loaded  1 1/2 tractor trailers with approximately:

  • 12 banks of lockers
  • 300 student desks
  • 300 student chairs
  • 25 teacher desks
  • 40 Adult chairs
  • 30 Tables
  • 20 Audio visual carts
  • 20 file cabinets.
  • 20 book shelves
  • 10 white boards
  • Contents of the nurse’s clinics
  • Even a box full of pencil sharpeners

It was hard work. The lockers and white boards had to be removed from the walls. Some desks had to be partially disassembled. The student desks and chairs had to be gathered from locations all over the building. But our “hand-me-downs” will go on to bless and educate a generation of kids in another country. Please pray for those receiving these items. Pray for them to have a safe and comfortable learning environment. And please pray a blessing on the kids who just finished this mission project. They are outstanding teens. I was a privilege to be a part of their team.

Walk in His Light,


Mission Trip

I’m very blessed to be part of a church that serves. This afternoon I am honored to have the privilege to join 150+ teens and 50+ adults who will begin a week long mission trip to Mansfield, Texas. That’s right; we’re staying home and serving the community that has given so much to us. So if you see one of 20 white vans (there will be a number in the window) be sure to wave and say a prayer.

A year of planning.

Countless support people.

2,400 Meals.

800 Showers.

150 Teens.

50 Adults.

20 Vans and work Teams.

5 Days.

2 Churches.

1 City.

United Mission Week. Mansfield Texas.

We appreciate your prayers.