There is a new wave of energy flowing throughout Whitestone. Its source: the Christian Hospitality Network banquet. Since the year 2003, not only has the CHN banquet aided in funding missionaries foreign and domestic, but it has also helped to provide the finances for the GetAway.
If you want to see Paul Cowell’s face light up, just ask him about the GetAway. The GetAway is Paul’s method of abetting missionaries, his attempt to take Whitestone to them when they cannot come to Tennessee. Think about that for a second…think about when Whitestone might have been a place of relaxation for you, a place where your marriage was refreshed, a place where you regained the strength to keep on keeping on, or maybe it has been a place where you dream of visiting one day. More than likely, missionaries on the field may have never experienced that “Whitestone” experience you had or have dreamed of having. In fact many may never have the chance; therefore, Paul began what is now simply called, the GetAway. Now you may wonder how something requiring so much money can be made available to missionaries on the field? Enter, the CHN banquet. The CHN banquet is like the promotional push for financial preparation for the GetAway trips. In essence, its Paul taking what was birthed in his heart years ago and impregnating it into the hearts of others hoping the vision will begin to grow, but the banquet alone can only provide so much. Now enter, people like you and I.
The GetAway revolutionizes from vision to reality because of people like you and I who catch the vision that Paul casts. Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” This is an inspiration, for what greater joy to have the opportunity to give back to the One who gave it all? When we give to others, we are giving back to Jesus. If you find yourself lacking the motivation to give, then let that resolution be your motivation. The Good Book tells us that this Earth is not our home, to store up our treasures in heaven. In other words, it is futile for us to chase after the luxuries that the world offers, but instead, we should chase after the blessings of the Father by giving back what He has already blessed us with.
On many occasions Paul has not only taught me but showed me the beauty of giving. Like I have mentioned before, my internship privileges me to gleam from the wealth of his knowledge, and how wealthy his knowledge is. Whether by words or acts of service, he is always teaching me. Perhaps one of the greatest things I will ever know how to do, I see Paul do on a daily basis: giving. He is storing his treasures up in heaven, adhering to the wise words of the great C.S. Lewis, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” What are you aiming for?