Well, it is officially crunch time for the 2017 LCF Mexico Team! In exactly two days we’ll be gathering together at LCF and heading to the Seattle-Tacoma airport. And, while it would be great to say that all nine of us have been completely packed and 100 percent ready to go for the past week or so…that’s probably just not true!
But, just because we aren’t completely packed and 100 percent ready to go, doesn’t mean we haven’t been preparing for this trip. Here’s what we’ve been up to over the last five months as we have sought to prepare our minds, our hearts, our hands, and our feet for this trip.
- We’ve been meeting together once a month since March to talk about the trip, prepare for the trip, and pray for the trip and one another.
- We’ve been spending time studying God’s Word together and thinking about topics like the Gospel, missions, being ambassadors for Christ, being unified as a team, spiritual gifts, and spiritual warfare.
- We’ve been spending time getting to know one another on a fun level (talking about our favorite foods, favorite music, which Disney character we’re most like, etc.) and a deeper level as we’ve shared our testimonies with one another, shared prayer requests with one another, talked about things we’re worried about, excited about, etc.
- We’ve been spending time asking our church, our friends, and our families to pray for us and partner with us financially.
- We’ve been raising money for our trip, a process that included hosting a massive church-wide garage sale which netted more than $2,100!
- We’ve been spending some time (probably not enough time!) practicing Spanish together.
And finally, we’ve been spending time serving with one another. All of our meetings essentially culminated in our Team-Building Retreat. Initially, the plan was for us to do something “fun” together: doing a ropes course, going go-kart racing, going paint-balling, etc. But a few months ago Carli made an amazingly simple and yet profoundly astute observation: our team is traveling hundreds of miles away to serve God in another country…don’t you think we should do it in our own backyard as well? Point taken.
So a few weeks ago we all met in downtown Olympia at the Union Gospel Mission (UGM), a ministry that our church has been supporting financially for years. We were welcomed in and given a quick tour of the facilities and then we were put to work preparing for their Saturday brunch. We cut strawberries, peeled oranges, cut potatoes, cracked eggs, made biscuits and gravy, and got drinks ready. On a usual Saturday the UGM can easily serve 100 people brunch, so we made sure we had more than enough food ready to go. On this particular Saturday, we only had around 50 people come for brunch, but it was still a tremendous experience to serve alongside one another and see the inner-workings of a ministry that our church has supported over the years.
All-in-all it has been so encouraging to watch God use His Word, prayer, serving with one another, and just spending time with one another to draw our team closer to Him and closer to one another. Our hope and prayer is that all of these things that we’ve done over the past five months has softened the soil of our hearts for exactly what God wants to teach us over the next week and beyond!
Note: one article on missions that we had the privilege of reading together was “The Supremacy of God is Missions Trough Worship” by John Piper. If you’ve never read it before, we’d definitely recommend it!