Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Something strange ?
I Peter 4:12
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.

In the course of planning and building mission teams, inevitably, there are team members who have to drop. It usually happens, family plans, jobs, weird circumstances, etc. To me, it's never been a big deal. I always make sure the parents are totally comfortable not feeling like they have let someone down, making sure the students feel ok with making a commitment and then having to go back on it. Life happens. My trip is not and will not be the end-all/be-all mission trip of eternity. Even this year, I have had 2 students drop from NYC already. Both of them had unforseen family circumstances and were totally ready to go, but the trip had to give. It's ok.
But, I just got an email from another student with a totally different perspective. She felt like a failure because she couldn't make the next meeting and hadn't sent her letters out yet. The language of the email was doubtful and almost resigned. I wrote her back to make sure that she knew she was on the team and that the small things of sending support letters and one prep meeting were just that, small. I believe preparation for mission trips are just as important as the trip itself, but I also know that this student is going to thrive on this trip, it is going to change her worldview and she is going to look at missions so differently. And the rest of the team, me included, needs her. And she needs us.
Is it no surprise that Satan will attack all of us as we prepare, meet, get to know each other, think about what our summers will hold for us? Why wouldn't he send elements of doubt and resignation to us to make us believe that we aren't worthy, that we don't have what it takes, that we cannot possibly make a difference.... Whether it's at the beginning of brainstorming and planning summer missions, when I felt like I was most attacked, or today, as a student believes she has let everyone else down, Satan is at the heart of us feeling like something is trying to stop our efforts in bringing the Gospel to the nations.
"Listen carefully: any movement toward freedom and life, any movement toward God or others, will be opposed. Marriage, friendship, beauty, rest- the thief wants it all." - Eldredge

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