Well, I have not mentioned a really big deal thing that is happening in my life on this blog yet.
I think that falls under the idea that you don't want to count your chickens before their hatched. And I have never really gotten over the amazement that God has made a way for me to go.
I leave on July 11th and return on the 26th. I am going with a team of 5 leaders and 10 students. We will arrive in Dublin and travel to Belfast. We will be trained and then we will serve the people of Ireland in teams made up of students from lots of different places. So our students will be mixed in with other students from other places. The way things are designed matters to me. So far so good on that front. I think that this will be a very rich and full experience for our whole team.
One of the strengths I offer is flexibility. I have been on enough of these to know that nothing ever goes exactly as planned. You could end up with sheep in the road that need 45 minutes to cross, etc. I really have learned to expect that and actually enjoy rolling with it. But I can be pushed to far... I get tired too. So I've spent some time praying that I will sense that before I say or do something ridiculous. Or that I will be able to say I'm sorry and regroup if it happens. I'd appreciate your prayers for me on this. A calm leader that trusts the twists and turns can provide a lot of security and patience in the rest of the team.
I do not have the gift of evangelism. I have used this as an excuse far more than I like to think about it. I love being with my friends who do not think they have it either but clearly do. Does God come up in every conversation with every person you ever meet? Or almost every person? If the answer is yes, then please know that you have been grace with an amazing gift that not all of us have. I have grown to the place that I at least acknowledge in almost every encounter that God might be up to something. But that doesn't mean I speak up. I sense the Lord wants to stretch me a bit here on this trip.
I have been asking for the Lord to show me a very natural way to enter into a conversation where depending on God might come up fairly easily. I have received the answer to my question. When I have an opportunity to speak one on one with someone from Ireland I think I will bring up the economic crisis that has been splashed all over the news in recent months. This is a challenge for both youth and adults in any culture and it is something that both my personal background and business background give me a lot of perspective on. My faith has been what has given me peace and hope in the midst of what doesn't make much sense in terms of monetary provision.
I am super excited about the youth on this trip and spending time with them. I know some well. I know some from afar. I know some through Matt. I know almost nothing about a couple of them. I know that when I return from these two weeks that I will know all of them in really significant ways. That makes my heart very happy.
We also have a very good team of adult leaders. They all care about the spiritual development of their own lives and more importantly of these students. They all know how important an adventure like this is in developing faith. Some care a lot about safety, for all the nervous parents that is a good thing to know. It will be fun to discover on the trip who had what role for what reason on what day.
If I have access to a computer, I will blog while I am gone. If not, I'll share the blessings of the Land of the Irish when I return.
If you are reading this and you have contributed financially to this trip, please let me say again, Thank You! As the Ireland Team comes to mind please pray for us and the people we are meeting as we go.
This photo of Belfast is courtesy of TripAdvisor