Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm pretty well convinced God has blessed me with the most amazing team ever to work with. I was laughing last year, at the fact that I was traveling with all middle-aged men, that I didn't know whether that made me the spring chicken or the odd duck. "We're all odd ducks," George responded. Which I guess is why I'm so comfortable with this bunch and so happy to work with them. The years that they have had walking with the Lord, years of experience in the thick of difficulties as missionaries, has given them priceless wisdom, knowledge and character.

Mark, Claude, Joe, me, Anthony, Ken, Ray, Jim

I spent a lot of my free time just listening to them, as they would talk about the Bible, their experiences as missionaries, or church history and how that relates to social and intellectual movements. Joe is one of the few people who will positively wear me out intellectually! I love listening to Ray sharing what inspires him, Ken's explanations of how things work, and George's and Joe's amazing bush stories.
I'm really humbled how they respect me as a colleague and look after me like a daughter.
If there is conflict, it is constructive. If there is a problem, they deal with it. I don't think pettiness exists in their universe.
They do not hesitate to apologize.

Probably my favorite thing relates back to my memories of youth group mission trips. It bothered me that of all the time we might spend in a vehicle or otherwise "off duty," we'd talk about the silliest things, sing annoying songs, even gossip, but seldom would worshipful conversation or singing happen spontaneously. With this team, sure, there are jokes and goofing off, but it was common to hear them whistling "Greater than All Our Sin" or humming "Redeemed" while doing dishes, and it was guaranteed that there would be meaningful spontaneous conversation about God and what it means to serve Him throughout the day.

This made it soooo much better through those three weeks as we dealt with the stress of having to re-do our plans time and time again as circumstances surprised us, making decisions about expenses to pay, how to work with people who came in and had missed four days of instruction, etc. I was encouraged each day to be told how God has been faithful in the lives of each of my team, as I saw how He is active in all our hearts today.

And yes, we did have fun fellowship as well...
Claude and Mark playing ping-pong
One of my favorite moments was playing pool with George, and it was so dark we had to lean in 6" from a ball before we could tell whether it was a stripe or solid! I won, but only because he mistook the 8-ball for one of his!

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