Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Surreal Becoming Real

I cannot believe that the last week of classes has already come and gone and that finals week is upon us! I know at the end of the semester, everyone always says the semester flew by- but really, it just flew right on by. The typical busy-ness of the last week of school was made even crazier when I began receiving a flood of e-mails from Experience Mission with further details on this summer (a good, overwhelming feeling nonetheless). My dates on the field have been finalized and I will be officially starting work in Costa Rica on June 10th and will be returning home on August 12th. To be honest, I was a little relieved to see that in between our orientation on May 10th and our time of service that I will have a good three weeks to better holistically prepare for work overseas. When I found out I was accepted to the program, I began researching the local community and preparing myself for anticipated culture shock and other things. But with school, work, and the different ministries I'm involved with in Waco it has definitely been a balancing act to prepare as much as I would like to (course I realize life rarely stops being busy). Either way, I am excited to see that I will have these few weeks without school or work to be able to dig in deep on personal reflection, goal setting, and divine guidance to prepare myself to best serve the people of Costa Rica and meet them and their personal vision.

On this note, I have been lucky enough to take the first Cross-Cultural Ministry class offered at Baylor this semester and the Lord couldn't have placed me in a better environment to learn about short-term mission trips and how to prepare for them. The entire course is revolved around the effectiveness of short-term mission trips, different types of ministries on the field, cultural intelligence, among many other things. Throughout the class we have had opportunities to reflect on the biblical and personal basis for doing missions, lead devotionals on missions ministries, interview long-term missionaries, and research different types of ministries on the field. For our last project, we are coordinating an entire short-term missions trip. There is so much more to preparing for missions trips than I could have ever imagined- it is a process that requires deep reflection and goal setting months ahead of the trip, multiple times daily while on the trip, and months after the trip to ensure long-term impact. I'm lucky to be in a course that has opened my perspective and knowledge on how best to handle short-term missions trips. It does make me think though - how many leaders are still lacking this type of wisdom? If I were to have led a short-term missions team before this class, I know for a fact I would have had a completely different method on how to prepare and lead. Of course, we do have the greatest leader to take over ;)

I ventured onto my account for Experience Mission the other day, and was so so excited when I saw that a list of the teams that will be coming to Costa Rica this summer had been posted! It made this surreal experience so much more real being able to see the name of the church, the age group, the number of people in each team. Also, I can now pray for each of these churches and individuals- and I would like for you all to help me. I'd like to pray over the teams, that they will be using this time to grow close to one another in support and unity. I'd like to pray over the individual members and the personal goals that they will be setting for themselves. I'd like to pray over their local churches and communities, that they would be empowered to support these teams both financially and spiritually; that there would be mentors set up to provide prayer and encouragement back home. I'd like to pray for the team leaders, that they will rely on God throughout this entire planning process. Finally, I want to pray, of course, for the Bribri and Cabecar tribes that we will be serving in Costa Rica. For the long-term missionaries who are already there and for the relationships that are already being built. I just pray over these people, that the Lord will be stirring in their hearts a desire to want to know Him and His truth. That the short-term leaders and teams that are coming in will be reminded that we are visitors to these people- that  we will be encouraged to meet them where they are, that we will listen to their vision, and will disregard any personal bias or perspective. We are so blessed to have this opportunity, to learn more about these people and to simply love on them in the name of Christ. 

I've listed the names of the churches below and I'd like for us to pray over the next few weeks, that both I and each of these groups will rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us as we prepare for this upcoming journey.

June 27th - June 23rd: 
     Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church, 11 team members
July 1 - July 7th: 
     Christ Community Church, 48 team members
July 8th - July 14th: 
     Evangel World Outreach Center, Grace Presbyterian Church, 14 team members
July 29th - August 4th: 
     Cumberland Fellowship, 12 team members
August 5th - August 11th: 
     Rivertree Community Church, Emporia State University, Community of Faith Church, 
     18 team members 

No comments:

Post a Comment