Addison Falls shares her heart after serving at Freshwater, summer of 2017

Addie!So the summer has come to a close. This beautiful place I had the pleasure of calling home for the past 6 weeks. All the highs and lows of living on 9-mile long island of St. John are coming to mind.

At the beginning of the trip, John Hill, co-pastor of Freshwater Church, Natasha, my co-intern 😊, and I got to walk through the story of when Abraham takes his son up to the mountain to sacrifice him. (Genesis 22ish) But as they built the alter and Abraham raises his hand to take Isaac’s life… the Lord provides an alternative sacrifice. In the place of Isaac, God provided. In the place of me, God provided. He gave His one and only son. WHAT KIND OF LOVE IS THAT?

I feel like this story and our long talks about the Lord meeting us in the face of our own sin/junk really set the bar for this trip. It allowed me to see through the eyes of true sacrifice. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13. That is what the Lord did for us.

This trip, this island, these people have taught me what sacrifice truly looks like. The members of Freshwater day after day, and week after week, continue to pour into each other and the people around them. They sacrifice their time, their food, their agendas, and their expectations, for those around them. What love is this? What passion, grace and care does it take to constantly choose those around you over yourself?

I’m so thankful for the community that gathers around the Freshwater church. Some of my highlights included: Getting to go to the beach with (new to the island family) Kim and her wonderful girls (a few times!), and getting to eat amazing food with Becky. I loved getting to clean the games for kid’s carnival with Roger, and laugh with Brian. Getting to have real talks with Trina and Lisa, and playing in the pool with Nathan. I so enjoyed getting to pray with Aaron, and do life with the Hills. I learned how important community is. How important it is to “sacrifice”, build and develop relationships. How true peace and closeness comes from laying your life down for the ones around you, the ones in your community.

I love how this community has developed a core practice of always having room. Always inviting. Always connecting.

Another highlight for me was getting involved and serving alongside Freshwater members in the different children’s ministries. I loved how this involvement looked like anything from playing crocodile in the pool, to doing fathers day crafts at church Sunday school, and playing pass outside the restaurants while others were eating. I got the opportunity to listen, support and love each child. I got to hear their dreams of being famous singers, famous divers, adventurers, and travelers.

This quote really stuck out to me as I leave the Island. As I walk into the next season of life, and for those around walking through their high seasons and low seasons. Find peace in the restlessness, joy in the mourning, and grace when things don’t work the way you hoped. “Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.”

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