I love this time of year. We have started to come out of our winter habitation. It has been wonderful to see people taking walks, riding bikes, the grills have been taken out of storage and work has begun in our yards. God's creation is coming alive again with new life.
This past March I had the opportunity to accompany nine students from Minot State University to Florida. Our mission that week was to work with Habitat for Humanity in Lakeland, Fla. Lakeland is about a 45-minute drive southeast of Orlando. The house that we worked on was for a single mother and her two sons but this new house in this neighborhood was so much. It was going to bring new life to this family and to the neighborhood.
Here is a part of the article about the trip that appeared in the Red and Green written by Zach Demers.
Rev. Kari Williamson
"The students and campus pastor say they gained some life lessons during their visit in Florida. They helped people in need and incurred some lasting memories. Each took away different experiences.
"I think we gained a lot of satisfaction and productivity during our spring break," Brad Bingen said. "I felt I did a lot more on a spring break than I ever have."
"It was just awesome to pray over the family that was going to live there and meet them and hear their story," Sierra Lassila said.
Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Religion Editor Loretta Johnson at 857-1952 or Debbie Sandvold at 857-1950. The toll-free number is 1-800-735-3229.
"One thing that I really enjoyed was getting to spend time with the group that was there," Alex Baker said. "It's never been that exact group together. It was cool to be able to bond over building a house."
The MSU students said the other volunteers they worked with while in Florida were warm and friendly. "Everywhere we went, we ran into people who we were encouraged by," Lassila said.
The students said they would be willing to complete another service project like this in the near future. Lassila said she wants to get involved in community service projects in Minot and encourages all students to get involved in these activities"
This spring and summer we are given life and new energy after a long winter. This neighborhood and family is given new life because of a house that is being built.
Hopefully, this is just an understanding of how blessed we are and the fact that we were able to help someone else and just the satisfaction.
As we see God's creation come to life we are reminded that each of us is a new creation.
We are a new creation in God's hands: hands that hold you, hands that comfort you, hands that heal you, hands that cry with you, hands that hurt with you when you hurt, hands that protect and hands that you give you promise and hope of future with God today, tomorrow and forever. God's hands will still be holding you in those times of life and journey of faith when doubt, questions and fear arise. The hands of God give us hope and new life.
As we hear and read these words, may we be reminded of God's promise.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3-4
The Rev. Kari Williamson is pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Surrey and campus pastor at Minot State University.