Thursday, January 5, 2012

From the beginning...

I guess I should begin at the beginning (duh) of how I got onto the team going to Europe.

My church has a Glocal (Global and Local) outreach ministry that is serious about serving the needs of others around the world.  They have been charged with making sure that those who are sent to serve do so with a pure heart.  Afterall, the purpose of these short term missions (STM) trips are to serve!

Once I had it in my head that going on an STM trip was something I wanted to do, I seriously prayed about it.  This is a huge deal, and I didn't want to go into it blindly.  I talked to others who had gone on trips about their experiences, and they were real with me.  "Not everyone can do it", "When you know  you're called to go, you WILL know" were some of the things they told me.  There was even one woman who told me"while it sounds great, that just isn't something that's on my hear to do".  Clearly, this has been on my heart for years, but it was never the right time.

Well, the Glocal team was pushing a new thing, called MO5. This stands for Mountain (my church) on 5 different continents/regions of the world.  There are needs that need to be served everywhere in the world, and we are planning to send 5 teams out at the same time.  Teams will be going to Mexico (North America), Arizona (USA, North America), Mathare Valley in Nairobi, Kenya (Africa), Southeast Asia (exact location is not being made public, for the safety of the team), and Prague, Czech Republic (Europe), which is where I will be going.

Of course, when I finally felt the call to go on a missions trip, I just knew I'd be going to Kenya...but clearly, God had other plans for me.  I'll talk more about that in a later blog...

So I filled out the extensive (12 pages!) application, prayed and turned it in.  I had gone to an informational session to hear about the different works that would be done on the trips, and had scheduled my interview.  These trips are pretty popular, and we even have some people who a veteran STM servants, which is why interviews are needed.  The ministry staff wants to make sure that the people who are sent on these trips know that this isn't a vacation; that they are spiritually ready for the task; that those who go on the trips know what they are getting into and can handle the stresses that come along with being a missionary.

So I prayed and prayed...and asked for prayers, and had my impatient and anxious moments...and then i finally got my notice.  I was accepted onto the team!

Now I am sending out e-mails, drafting a letter to send out snail mail with an insert to describe my trip to supporters and praying, still, to be prepared for this trip.  Net week, I will be attending the Glocal Ministry's monthly meeting, to hear what they have been up to, and what plans I can help out with.  I don't yet know who else is on my team with me, but I have met our leader (I had no idea at the time, but she was one of my 3 interviewers!).  All of the teams meet together at the end of the month for a big celebration, and then we will begin team building on a monthly basis.  Just before we leave, we will be meeting more and more often, to learn personalities and conflict resolution styles, etc.

I look forward to these next 5 and a half months, and cannot wait to embark on this journey.  Glad to have you along for the ride!

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