Today is Palm Sunday--our first full day of settling in on the Island of Eleuthera. After 2 days of traveling our team was so thankful and filled with gratitude. As we drove to the beautiful Wesley Methodist Church on the ocean for Palm Sunday, our souls started to soak in the majestic beauty of the water painted in shades of blue and green.
As we stood outside meeting local natives of the island we understood that faith brought us to other brothers and sisters in Christ for a reason. We witnessed such kindness and joy as we celebrated Palm Sunday together. Our new friends provided our entire mission team with beautiful palms to wave in the wind blowing off the ocean blue. Before walking into the Church with our palms, we felt the Holy Spirit moving through our hearts and souls as the wind whistled through the Church. Our mission team was invited to partake in a procession walking around the Church honoring our Lord and Savior.
The service itself was moving as we sang together. We witnessed so many brothers and sisters singing through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit of God moved, it just simply ignited hearts as we clapped and danced around the Church, hugging our new friends. One moment that touched us all deeply, as we mediated on Christ’s disciples deceiving him, occurred when we heard a rooster crow outside. We immediately thought of Peter and how he doubted that Jesus was King of Kings. As believers in Christ we know that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, but we were reminded of evil’s presence and the need to pray to be beacons of light in our communities by sharing God’s love. Thus, our mission team witnessed God’s presence as love was planted in our hearts today, and we were now on mission through God’s love.
We started to take our time meeting new friends along the way and cultivating relationships with more love. Our first destination after Church was Ocean Hole, a saltwater lake, to swim and jump with gorgeous tropical fish. There we met 2 daring boys named Larry and Patrick who knew how to turn and twist with courage off the cliff. We also met a wonderful man who had learned to swim at that water hole as a child and just flew back home for a funeral from Atlanta, GA. Our mission team will pray for this gentleman during his time of sorrow as we learned he is a strong believer in Christ.
Our last stop of the day was Banyan Tree--a very different place with trees that took severe twists and turns with roots that moved left, right, up and even down. It definitely took God’s amazing creativity to artfully craft the individuality of these trees, just as God has individually crafted us. We are celebrating diversity in this trip and where the Lord has us planted for the week. We know that God has us planted here together for a reason, and we are walking together in faith.