BROOKLYN PARK, MN (April 5, 2013) – Perhaps it was serendipity that brought order out of chaos.
The 17 students and adults from Redeemer Covenant Church were scheduled to leave by 4 p.m. March 22 on their mission trip that would take them to towns in southern Texas and northern Mexico. Along the way, they would be staying with members of Evangelical Covenant Church congregations in Kearney, Missouri, and Austin, Texas.
The departure schedule gave them plenty of time to make room for a group of more than 50 people from the International Falls Evangelical Covenant Church to arrive at 5 p.m. at the Redeemer building. They were going to be staying there while attending an Acquire the Fire youth conference over the weekend.
So much for schedules. The motor coach from International Falls arrived at 3:20 p.m., and dozens of students poured out and headed into the church carrying their supplies and gear. They were thrilled to finally be off the bus.
At the same time, the Redeemer students were trying to get out through the same doors carrying their gear so they could pack up their vans to get on the road. Linda Gustafson, Redeemer’s administrative secretary, described the experience as “chaotic.”
When all was finally in place, it was time for the Brooklyn Park families to gather around their students and leaders for a time of prayer in the parking lot. Within moments, the student and leaders from the International Falls team had come out of the building and surrounded their fellow Covenanters to pray for the trip. The Redeemer teens responded with prayers for an inspiring conference experience.
“The prayers these kids gave for one another were just amazing,” said Redeemer Pastor Steve Larson. “Their youth completely encircled our youth with prayer. What an awesome privilege to witness this generation praying for God’s work to be accomplished!”
Gustafson said she was inspired by the connectedness experienced in the moment as well as during the mission trip. “The groups from these two Covenant churches didn’t know each other, but each would be enjoying the hospitality of other Covenant churches this weekend. And now they were coming together to lift each other in prayer.”
“The perfect plan wasn’t the timetable that had been determined to keep the groups separate and make their transitions smoother,” Gustafson said. “God’s perfect plan was that these groups would come together.”