Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Post Get-Together

When teams go on trips, there is a lot of emphasis on pretrip meetings, prayer, etc. Through my experience on short term trips, I've learned that the post team meetings are the most important. Last night we went to D.O's house and just poured out into each other. Feelings were expressed, how we were coping was shared, and encouragement was given. Pastor Kerri taught Gary and I that 10 days on the mission field is the equivilent of 2 years in a small group (speaking of spiritual growth). Mission trips are the best way to disciple a believer. What I learned last night is that God moved so much because each and every one of us were outside our comfort. Each team member that shared (and mind you that this team was all our church interns, kids already fired up for God, serving Him everyday as an unpaid church staff member) expressed that they were doing everything they could to stay close to Jesus. Reading the Bible outside in nature, writing worship songs for the kids, journalling, even losing sleep and using that time wisely. There were some people on the team that couldn't really do anything but cry they were changed so much.
These experiences are completely normal after a trip-it's called a "trip high". My prayers for all of us now are to keep it going. turn it into our normal day, build the yearning for the lord so strong that we can't function without knowing he's in everything we do. We all shoveled dirt at the carepoints with joy, can we clean a toliet at church with that much joy if we were asked? I've just been writing and praying about how i can turn these experiences into practicality in the US without getting preachy and wasting my time getting offended at people's attitudes and lack of thanksgiving in this country. Satan uses that to take away from what God did on the trip, and i most definitely don't want that!
1. I always want to be others focused. Can i sacrifice my schedule, my desires, my needs for what others need? Can i give my blessings immediately to others?
2. I always want to glow with Jesus' love. People at work said i came back glowing (even though i didn't feel glowy, i was kinda sad i had to come back to work, i wanted to be on the mission field still). That glow was the left over jesus on my face from Africa. I want to keep the glow, always see the positive and be willing to be uncomfortable for the sake of others.
3. i want to be relevant to people about my trip. i don't want to be over-spiritual, just have normal conversation about the trip, the kids, the need. i want to encourage people to step out of their comfort here to help extend the arms of Jesus to foreign places...if not to help the people of africa, but to help the missionaries there who've given their lives of comfort in the US to live uncomfortable there.
4. I want to keep His fruit of the spirit:self control in everything I do. God says just a hint of something i want to jump to it, not question it. "read Job" not, "what? i wanted to read titus or hebrews" but "ok god, done." "write so and so an email" i'm tired, i'll do it, "ok god, done". pray for so and so, DONE!!!!
God is full of mercy and grace, but he also demands discipline and truth in our walk with him. I learned that people are watching, reading, analyzing, learning from me at all times, even when i don't think they are. We all need to be on our top jesus game every second until it's really in our DNA. It is hard at first, and some days are tested more than others-but it's what he calls us to do. If we aren't like that, we are of no use to Him.

So the pic is of the Zimbabwe interns and Pastor Dixon who churches our plant for Celebration Oasis of Life in Zimbabwe and our interns and some of the missionaries there in Swaziland. We all hiked to the top of Executioner's Rock on one of the last days we were there. Gary is not pictured because he stayed behind with on of the interns who sprained her ankle when no one else would. Every inconvineince is an opportunity!!! I love him so much.


Jon said...

HEY! Thanks for the encouraging comment on my post! I was beginning to think that people don't even read those things! I looked into the website that you directed me to and I saved the link so that I can refer to it in the future. I didn't mean for it to sound like I didn't have a home church, because I do, it just isn't in WPB where I am now. I consider the church I grew up in my home church, where I still receive most of my missional support... not that I am not still searching for another home church here in WPB. Thanks again for reading! Stay in touch! I really enjoy your blogs! God Bless you sister!

sammie said...

Like moses coming down from the mountain, first he covered his face to hide the glow of God then he was afraid they'd notice it was fading.