Friday, October 24, 2008
story number OnE...
A whirlwind of music, new friends, laughter, crying, and no sleep. Last month I was dreading the days leading up to the short term mission trip I was leading... as I dropped off my new found friends at the airport Friday morning, I dreaded their leaving.
There are so many stories from this week, I'm not sure where I should even start. This is just a starter to peak your interest, but know there are MANY more to come later down the road.
I had my idea on whose story I was going to tell first and then decided that I would tell mine. Bob Collins asked me about 5 months ago if I would take this team and I said yes without praying about it much (or even thinking about it for that matter!). I hate to even say this but about 2 months ago I was regretting saying yes and I was trying to pawn it off on someone else. But the Lord knows, doesn't he?
Last Thursday I went to pick them up from the Quito airport and I was about as nervous as I get. I was thinking of everything horrible that could possibly happen; I'm too young, they won't respect me... they won't like me... I'm going to end up losing someone... they are going to be boring... and then all of the sudden I see a group coming towards me... and how do I saw this nicely? They were quite a bit OLDER than I thought the team would be. The thought running through my mind was, "Someone is definitely going to break a hip..."
I'm happy to report that that WASN'T the group. I waited another 30 minutes and then saw the smiling faces of the team from Brookwood. From day one we connected. And every day after that I got to see God move in and through them in such amazing ways.
I don't know about you, but most people are pretty crabby if they don't have their comforts. Let's just say that FOUR out of the TEN people lost luggage. And not just stupid luggage either, ALL their clothes. And they didn't complain once. They were such troopers.
But let me tell you what God taught me through this trip. He taught me how to pray. Because of my many trips with Jen Ben (my fellow youth minister from POP), I know how important prayer is to short term missions. But this trip was different. A month before this trip even began, the Lord drew me to pray for these people I didn't know. You can look at my prayer journal and you will see prayers for one person that the Lord would call them into doing missions longer term and at just the right time the Lord has us talk about that exact subject. The freaky thing was that they told me that THAT day the Lord had been pushing them to consider it. Coincidence? And that is just one of dozens of examples.
Friday, when I was reflecting on the trip, I realized that the entire week had been one huge series of God telling me to tell people things and them saying, that is exactly what I needed to hear. And I said to God, "Wouldn't it be awesome if I lived like this ALL the time??"
And then I realized, that's what I want. I want to be in CONSTANT communion with God. Hear him speak and move accordingly. Like if God tells you to take a team of people you don't know on a short term trip, don't second guess... just do it. You never know when YOU will receive a bigger blessing them you give.
That's what God taught me this week... maybe later I'll tell you someone else's story on what God taught them.
p.s. Daniel, Andy, Page, Britney, Mike, Elaine, AnnLee, David, Kelly and Brian, thank you for blessing my life.