I came to Houston on a mission trip to help with disaster relief but I received much more blessings than I gave.

I was able to work with a wonderful group of individuals who were supportive, enthusiastic, and positive in the process of hanging drywall. This process began the night previous to the real work in me. We became a team through a team building exercise before the event.

I was able to share my testimony at a debriefing. I have been recovering from the after affects of a very tragic event in my family. This has been a difficult journey in our family. Trying to stay strong through my faith and be strong for my family. Through this process we have not been able to discuss it as a family due to legal proceedings not being completed. Because of this, we have to be guarded in our conversations. I was able to share my grief and pain about this situation here with our Houston team. However, what transpired next was something I did not expect or desire.

I began sobbing over my own past. This opened a floodgate of pain that had been buried 50 years. I did not know it had a hold on me. I was unaware of the chains that kept me prisoner. After I shared, I was very uncomfortable. I did not like being so vulnerable and raw with emotions. It caused me great anguish and grief. I couldn’t sleep and wept all night. I was supported, encouraged, and comforted during this process by my team. I wanted to leave to RUN as I didn’t like opening this box. I stayed the course, went to the job site, and continued to work. This would have not been a normal reaction to dealing with severe pain. Normally I hide and suffer.

By staying the course of working through the pain with the encouragement and counsel of James, I am now free from the chains that have kept me a prisoner. I want others to know what it feels like to be free, to be able to really shine for Jesus. I will never forget this huge blessing upon my life.