Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mission Trip Perspectives

Please feel free to check out the post from Monday while on Mission Navajo, the spring break trip my children and I participated in with about 15 others from Prairie Ridge Church. I will post more blog editions about the trip here on Taste and See the Lord.

The post after that describes The Ridge's Honduras mission team experience.

©Helene Bergren. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Humbled by His Plans

Right now, I am excited. Full of anticipation. Curious and nervous, yes. Overall, I feel joy at a journey God is taking His people on. And I know His great love.

But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.
Psalm 103: 17-18

Once itself a mission, my church is embarking on a new mission. The endeavor God is directing my church to lies in my college town of Ames, Iowa. A town I have a heart for, while still knowing my calling remains at The Ridge.

The parent denomination selected Prairie Ridge to birth a church in Ames, bringing on a pastor God provides, and launching into a calling God has placed before us. What a gift and a blessing that God would lead us here. In 1998, we started in living rooms. Today, we have grown well beyond that, but maintain the church is people, not a facility.

How humbling that I would be invited to support such a great call. My Lord has painted a beautiful scene of love in my life, and in the lives of so many today. He will keep painting for others. I love being in on these plans God has.

I’m thinking of Jeremiah 29:11:
"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord.
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
Plans to give you a hope and a future."

I wonder what Ames residents will see God’s great plans for themselves individually, because on the whole the people of The Ridge saw His plans for them to support the adventure.

What a joy to support a new local church. What a wise choice for our denominational leadership to look at Ames, where 80 percent of residents are missing out on the church experience.

And as our facility is bursting at the seams with people – bouncing babies on up – we’re also embarking on a capital campaign for an addition. Classrooms, common areas, even a special needs room.

Yes, praise God, more parking, and better handicapped parking and access. What a joy that we can do this, with God’s help. What deep respect I have for our leadership to commit to doing it without incurring debt.

Today, we continue to put spiritual formation as above all of that. We continue to focus on our call to go and make disciples. To draw close in intimate relationship with our Maker individually. To bring God glory. So, the campaign project and the church launch in Ames really are connected.

Today, the Mission Navajo team loaded a trailer with donations our church collected, largely coats and blankets, but also some clothes, and food and toiletries from third-grade classes.

At home, manila folders are stuffed with meeting notes and devotional plans. My office door has sticky note lists on it. My children and I are embarking on a mission trip to the Navajo Reservation together with a team from The Ridge. Leading us is a friend who grew up on the reservation.

While there, a long list of projects awaits, food donations, chopping wood, leading worship and Sunday School, building a wheelchair ramp and just plain loving on people. You can follow our team’s activities at

Seeing all these plans of God’s that my church family, my children, husband and I are sharing in, even in this imperfect world, why would I not feel joy?

©Helene Bergren. All Rights Reserved.