- His old neighbor across the street was going to move in a trailer as he was building his house and once Pawpaw helped him mark out the area he was going to put the trailer, the neighbor left and Pawpaw went to get his lawnmower. While the neighbor was gone, Pawpaw mowed the entire area around the markings of the trailer for two reasons. 1) that ___ grass (I forgot the kind of grass he said) could catch fire under the house, and 2) well, it was the neighborly thing to do. The neighbor, of course, was surprised and thankful and told all his friends about his nice new neighbor.
- Years later, around the same area... there were some new neighbors who paid a man to cut their grass, and it's a heck of a lot of grass. Pawpaw and Mawmaw were sitting on the porch one day and were watching the "mexican" man cut their grass (I put it in quotes... because to Pawpaw and most other people in my family, anyone who looks hispanic is "mexican."). It was about 100 degrees that day and one of the summer rain showers had started and the man had been mowing for a long time. Pawpaw had to run to the store, so while he was there he picked up a root beer for the man on the lawnmower. By the time he had gotten back home, the rain had stopped but the man was still mowing, soaking wet in the hot sun. Pawpaw walked over to were he was and said hello and asked him how he was... just neighborly chit chat. He had the root beer in his back pocket so the man wouldn't see it. Pawpaw asked him if he was thirsty and if he could get him anything to drink, and of course the man said no. But pawpaw took the root beer out of his back pocket and gave it to the man who drank most of it in one swig... as long as the man worked for the neighbors, he always waved and said hey to "Mr. Cole.
Listening to these stories, that I am sure are a few of many reminded me of what a leader Pawpaw is. I think alot like Daddy (who didn't really think he was a leader of others) Pawpaw is a great servant leader, which in my mind is the most important type of leadership. I think if you asked most anyone in the Midway community who Claude Cole is... they would know, because he is loved and respected by many.
One of the things I love about my job is serving others, college students specifically, who need encouragement and guidance as they learn and grow... if that wasn't true, I wouldn't be writing this blog at 12:31 am in the Cafeteria, where I'll be till 3am so that the students have another place to study. God has given me a great opportunity this year, one that I am excited about because it's going to benefit alot of people. I have mentioned before that I am going to Guatemala in January. I'll be taking a team of 10 students to Huehuetenango Guatemala... we leave ATL on January 5 and return on the 18th. As I was explaining to one of my team members yesterday, I am excited about the renewal that I am praying this trip brings to me and my heart. In a year when my heart has been broken through sorrow... I want it now to be broken with love and compassion and praise and thanksgiving. I have not really talked to my team much about Daddy's death... in fact I think only a handful of them know. This group of students I'll be traveling with... I don't know them all so well... but I love 'em already. They are all different and bring different things to the table... but they want many of the same things out of this trip: adventure, a chance to share and show the love of Christ, new friends, new perspectives, and a chance to make a difference. I am so thankful and excited about this opportunity...I'm doing my best not to stress and accept things as they come. As a team, we've only had 4 meetings... at none of those meetings has every single team member been present. Our first meeting with everyone will be IN Guatemala... but I know God will give us the guidance and discernment that we need in order to perform the tasks He will have us do.
- the Guatemala mission trip and the team from Samford. Pray for guidance and discernment and compassion for all of us. I wanted to list the names of the team so that you can pray for them individually. Also, we have a group on facebook "Guatemala - Jan Term '10" if you want to follow us. Team members are: Laren Lewis, Lauren Malone, Lauren Sharpe, Rebecca Price, Rachel Newman, Ryann Headley, Mary Baggett, Meredith Toering, Maddie Taylor, Julian Hollan, Jeremy Copeland (representative from Buckner International... the organization we are traveling with), and me.
- Pawpaw's continued recovery...
- recognize the opportunities God gives me for joy
- My future... I am still feeling unsettled about where to go and am looking for jobs... please pray for God's guidance in His plan for my future.
- For my family, especially my mom... as enter this Christmas season. It's going to be sad and I know it, but please pray that we will receive God's comfort when we need it.
So I guess this is it for this entry... I've been reading a book lately about the Holy Spirit (Forgotten God by Frances Chan) as well as am starting some weekly devotional material with my Guatemala team. My prayer is that as I study those materials that God will give me things to share with you... whoever it is that may be reading this, and that it may bring some comfort and joy to you as it does to me in writing.
Love and God Bless, KC