Monday, January 5, 2009

South Africa 2009

Last night, I had a medical team leaders training for my South Africa AIDS Hospice trip. Yes, God has a funny sense of humor. Me, the white knuckle flyer is going to South Africa in July and last night was the reality check that there is still LOTS to do before we go. Of course, right now, we only have four team members so praying up more team members is job #1. We'll go with only four but having more members means better preparation for 2010 and beyond.

This is the first trip that I have been the responsible party for. Somehow methinks this will be very different than driving on the reservation. :-) Up 'til now, that was my biggest responsibility on the field. Now, I am tasked with training a team on how to share the Gospel cross-culturally, how to interact with those who are dying, how to protect themselves from HIV, TB, and God only knows what else. But, it's like I told my boss last night: God never said obedience would be safe.

It is interesting to begin thinking about how to effectively build a team and equip them to function effectively on the field. I think our biggest task will be reminding them to think about the trip from the eternal perspective. The Gospel will be first and foremost on this trip and if we remember that, we will be successful even if we don't give a single bath or pass out a single pill. Fortunately, David has been preaching an excellent sermon series on grace and freedom in Christ that has tons of valuable information to use while building our training. I am also pulling from other sermon series. Why re-create the wheel?

One piece that I didn't expect to happen so quickly is my excitement about the trip and what God is planning. I know just from what He's showing me in His Word daily that there are lessons to be learned in every experience and the process of sanctification is a learning process. I love knowing that our Father loves us so much that He wants to show us new revelations from His Word if only we'll open our hearts to it. I actually WANT to hear more from Him and learn more. Not because I'm a geek but because I'm in love with my Savior and yearn to know more of Him.

I think there are multiple prayer requests and I would love for prayer warriors to join the fight. First, I am praying for the team members God is preparing to go. Pray they would be open to obeying God's call, learn and grow as a team and be ready to go when the time comes. Secondly, I am praying for the people we will see. Many of them are dealing with the reality of death in the coming months. Pray that they will sense the urgency of eternity and the Spirit will stir their hearts and minds to be receptive to the Gospel message we will share. Finally, I am praying for myself. Pray that I will be open to God's teaching as I prepare to co-lead this team. Pray I will put aside me and my desires and do all our trainings in a way that glorifies only Him.

Thanks in advance for the prayers and support. I will keep posting as we continue to prepare. This is a long process but it will be July before we know it.

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