Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Just Jump In

I leave for Brazil in 4 days. It's one of those things you can't quite comprehend. In many ways, its totally exciting. What a privilege to take a group of students into another culture, solely to encourage and bless a family from our church. With this trip, I think I've encapsulated a lot of the principles that I believe in so strongly in regards to overseas mission trips with students. (Long term relationship/partnership, strong team preparation, engaging the culture, etc. - all the stuff I've written about before)

The last time (and first time) I left the country with students was in 1993. Although it was a pretty good mission trip, there were a lot of things that we did incorrectly. There wasn't such a clear distinction between being a mission tourist and really having a mission to bless others around us. We didn't engage the surrounding culture like we could have. We stayed in an American 'compound.'

As much as I love taking students into new experiences soley for expanding the Kingdom, I'm a nervous wreck about this one. I wake up every morning feeling like I'm going to puke. It's getting better now that all the visa paperwork is complete and almost (hopefully) done. But there is still the actual traveling, making sure everyone has all their stuff, and hoping that we have prepared these kids in the right manner to really impact and bless others.

On the contrary, I know that God has paved the way for us. Nothing is going to be a surprise for Him, He lavishes in the fact that we are taking a risk for His sake.

This summer, my daughter K learned how to jump into the deep end of the pool. It's a real model for me this summer. The unknown, a new culture and context, the butterflies in the stomach, the final action of just taking that step. Let me get my googles.

Photo: The third time ever that K jumped into the deep end of the pool.

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