God is good

Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 1:02 AM
Subject: God is good

Have you ever have a day that is so out of the ordinary that you almost think that is isn't really happening? Today was one of those days. Full of surprises and and eye opening experiences that make you know that you are a part of Gods plan. It is great to know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and the exact moment in time that you are supposed to be there. I feel so blessed to be able to serve in this manner. Tim Hines and Marilyn Gilroy and myself traveled to a local group today to remove tatoo's from rehabilitated x gang members. We spent the day with these men who have chosen to erase their past and to begin a new life. The programs in place are excellent. The people running them are caring Christian people who want to help people get a second chance. The x gang members are killled or arrested if they are caught with tatoos. So I expected some to just be taking advantage of the program to stay out of prison. I was very surprised. They truly did want a new life and had already started on that path. They sang songs in the lobby while they waited. Studied their bibles. Joked around and kept each other from being afraid of their turn. Committed men wanting to do right. One man just got out of prison 11 days ago. He has been preaching in prison for over 2 years and is living a life committed to God. He was an encouragement to all of us.

We met people with stories that would curl your hair and got to hear how they changed their life for good. They had overcome obstacles that we would never even be able to comprehend. To see a man with satan tatooed on his chest and be changed for God was such a contrast. It made us realize how much bigger God is that us. And how small we are when we do not recognize potential good in all people. The beauty of mission work in other countries is learning to love people no matter what the problem is, no matter what the past has been, no matter the backgroud. It can be the same in the places where we live, that we could only learn to look past the differences and love them like Jesus did.

I could not be any more blessed with a team. Marilyn puts people at ease and never gives up on whatever she is working on. She is always happy and not afraid to do what needs to be done. She makes it all fun in spite of all the work! She has been great to work with.
Tim was amazing. He talked to all the x gangers about the changes and put them at ease over the procedure. He feeds us, kept us hydrated, and kept us safe. The best part was Tim holding their hands when they were hurting. Distracting them with conversations so we could do our work. He made sure they weren't hurting and gave them comfort for their fears. I did not expect them to have any problems with pain. Never would I have guessed that the big bad gang boys would shed a tear or act like it hurt or act like they had fears. They are the same as us, with the same hopes and dreams. Fears and failures. They recognize it after they fell down and got up to fix it.

In short, it was a great day for hope. It was on all of their faces when they realized someone had bothered to help them. I absolutley love the work and pray it will be a successful program. Thanks for all your prayers.

Serving Him with you,

Gayle Davidson