Lauryn Lane serves as a Department Assistant for P2 Missions, overseeing contracts and all finance related items. Anyone that has met Lauryn quickly learns she is a Texas girl at heart and “Boomer Sooner” are two of her favorite words. If you want to treat her to dinner Tex-mex is her favorite. You will see from reading this post that beyond the finances and operations of World Changers, Lauryn is passionate about seeing the lives of participants changed through missions.
What does it take to really know a person? Do you know them when you can look them in the eye? When you share a meal? When you experience an adventure or tragedy together? At the root of our relationships and interpersonal interaction is this heart question: “Do you know me?” We feel that, until you know a person, you can’t fully appreciate their story or their unique perspective.
Recently I had an epiphany about my job with World Changers. Day in and day out I’m entrenched in numbers and, for a poor liberal arts student, some days the work of dollars and figures can be rough. I don’t speak the language of graphs and charts yet each day that I look at registration numbers and process finance reports, I must remind myself exactly what it is those numbers represent. At one time I was a student attending these mission trips and for those years – out of all the thousands counted – I represented only one. Only one! But I walked away from those experiences forever changed.
When the nation of Israel was facing exile in Babylon, God sent a message through His prophet. This passage is not an instruction for behavior, nor is it a road map for the future. Instead He reminded His people of His very nature, explaining that their path was directed by the same power who can name every star in creation:
Look up and see: who created these? He brings out the starry host by number; He calls all of them by name. Because of His great power and strength, not one of them is missing. Jacob, why do you say, and Israel, why do you assert: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my claim is ignored by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. - Isaiah 40:26-28
If God can orchestrate the events of galaxies, how much more is He conscious of the course of our lives? God knows the name of every student who is registered or will register for a project this summer. He has charted the life events of every resident that our students will meet on one of these trips. He is prepared for every conversation presenting the message of His gospel and every act of kindness that will be expressed in His name.
When I replace registration numbers with students’ lives and finance figures with stories of sacrificial giving, suddenly the charts and budgets don’t feel so impersonal and cold. Instead of numbers I see real people showing real love to communities, residents, churches and cities. And I’m given a new hope of the stories that will pour out of the work done through World Changers this summer. He numbers the stars; He numbers us.