Monday, August 29, 2005

What Brasil did to me

I guess I never really wrote about what Brasil did to me.  It was a huge privilege for me to be part of such an experience.  Sure, my passion is leading student teams.  And sure, I've done it for a little while.  But that doesn't mean at all that trips like this one don't make a huge impression on me, because every one of them - seriously - every last one of them, gives me more to observe, a different way to think, and things to improve on.

First, I was forced to increased the level of risk I live with.  The Brasil trip, in combination with my trip to visit and work with PM, forced me to live with a higher tolerance of risk.  Tentative plans, people that we were working with and just plain getting to these localities were mostly up in the air.  But the gist of it was that all of the unknowns were actually *ok*.  It was actually tolerable for me, even more than that, liberating.  Because when details and circumstances are out of your control, you don't bear the responsibility for them anymore.  And even in the midst of no control, you know that Someone has gone before you to pave the way.  Keep in mind that I come from a family that is hugely risk averse.  I'm the only child of a very conservative set of Chinese parents who would rather their only son work his whole life in a very reliable, stable corporate job.  I was brought up in that kind of context.  This summer forced me to just go, even in the midst of many unknowns.

Secondly, it was such a honor to spend time with a GCC family overseas. The Body of Christ literally transcends space and time. What a wild experience to get on a plane and know that someone from GCC would be meeting us on the other end - people that knew many of the same people, and that were impacted by the same community that impacts us. To have a set of guides - physically, culturally and relationally - that knew exactly where we came from was such a tremendous service. Space and time are no matter to hearts that are tied together.

Thirdly, I'm pretty sure SPACE is on the right track.  I spend a lot of time wondering what is wrong with me.  How come I'm not normal.  Why I don't watch a lot of football on TV, why I'm not so enthralled with the corporate ladder, why I'm not like other 35 year old males.  And then, I get to be a part of an experience like this one.  Where a student thinks he ought to learn another language when he gets home.  When a 15 year old leaves his Bible in another country with someone he has only known for 7 days.  Seeing a group of kids fix up a park 5000 miles away, to bless complete strangers they will never meet.  Seeing kids envision that a central core of their future is to bless others because they are blessed.

Three simple things.  God, sometimes I can't believe the life you let me live.

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