How did your family spend Labor Day weekend? What would you have done as a family if one of your family members was deploying to Afghanistan next week? Would you have spent your last weekend together for a year on mission for Christ? Would you have honored a family tradition for the last six years and gone on a church mission trip?

Dan, Rebekah, Caitlin, and Emily Burnside came with the youth of Thomson, Georgia First Baptist Church on mission with SMRM for Labor Day weekend. This family has come for six years with the team. (The church has come for 29 years!) Dan and Rebekah are leaders in the church. Caitlin came from Shorter College to meet her family here. Emily is one of the committed youth of the church. They believe in the church’s call to mission; in family service together; in SMRM’s work of sharing Christ in the Smokies. They believe that this was the best way to spend quality time as a family together. They believe in Jesus Christ as Lord for their family and in sharing their faith.

The Burnside’s bring to life the heart and hope of SMRM’s core value that “The call to salvation is at one and the same time a call to mission. (Findley Edge)”. Dan leaves this week for training and then for Afghanistan for a year. As he said, “I won’t be here next year, but I will be back!”

What an honor to have the Burnside’s as part of our SMRM family! What an honor to serve with such beautiful Christians! What a blessing for our country to have such a family!
And what a Lord for our lives that loves us so!

O Jesus, keep Dan safe this year and take care of his family. Amen.

Just for the rest of the story, the others from the Thomson group were way cool this year too! You should have seen them making and serving a 10 foot banana split and singing the love of Christ to the good people of Venture Out on Saturday night. Labor Day weekend and its ministry tradition is one of the best moments of the SMRM year!