Post from 10/16:
There are way too many highlights to share in one post so I'll probably do two or three to give the full picture of what really went down last week. The first thing I noticed was that I had absolutely no fear flying. Sure the valium helped and I wasn't the best flyer in the world but I know without a shadow of a doubt that I was COVERED in prayer and it made a huge difference.
Coming into the Tuscon airport, the first thing I noticed was how flat everything was. That and we came into Gate 4. Not Gate B4 or A4 or T4, Gate 4. Talk about a small airport. :-) There were also cacti in the parking lot. The drive to Sells was starkly beautiful. I'd been to Northern Arizona before but the landscape here was so different. (As an aside, isn't it neat how God designed His earth; He knew we would bore easily so He gave us lots to appreciate.) There were cactus everywhere. And no, there was no tumbleweed; that's Northern AZ. As we got closer to Sells, you could see very few signs that we were approaching civilization. Sells is a town established by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1909 and it doesn't seem like it's changed too much since then. It is very small and we saw the town in about 10 minutes.
It was amazing how quickly the children appeared once they discovered we were there. The needs were evident the minute they opened their mouths to giggle or ask us to help them across the monkey bars. The black spots on their teeth were evidence of poor dental care and a lack of attention from mom and/or dad. But, the sounds of their giggles melted my heart immediately. These kids couldn't get enough closeness. They didn't want to just sit next to us, they wanted to sit on us. They craved the attention and we craved giving it to them.
I think the first couple of days taught me flexibility. The TO have their own timetable. Church started at 11:00ish. The schedule for us was constantly changing and the answer to "what's next" was usually "I don't know." For control freaks like me, it was a lesson in letting God work and backing off my agenda. I also had to get used to the wild dogs that appeared any time the kids did or it was meal time. I'm used to nice, clean Barney. These dogs were nasty to say the least.
We did see some awesome displays of God's glory. At Brook Hills, we've been praying for things to happen in such a way that only God could get the glory. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get a handle on what that looks like. Well, God showed me almost immediately. Saturday night, JT had us pray for the men of the nation and for God to send men to church on Sunday even if they didn't know why they were coming. Usually, First Papago Baptist has 2-3 men in attendance. This past Sunday, there were 7! One of whom Jay (the TO pastor) didn't even know. Jay knows EVERYONE so for him not to know this guy just proved God was moving in an awesome way. I was privileged to be a part of that. I guess that should be all for this post since it's already so long.