July 1, 2013
I’m a creature of habit. Therefore, I am sitting in the middle of my room with an empty bag and clothes scattered all around me making a list of things I need to do tonight. The nights before mission trips have always been my absolute least favorite. As a procrastinator, I put off every preparation until the very end and the longer the clock ticks, the more anxious I get about the dwindling time to get ready.
I almost always have a checklist that looks something like this: wash clothes, pack, charge cameras, write letters, go to bank, etc. The closer I get to the trip, though, the less important these logistical preparations feel and the more anxious I get about more important preparation, the kind you can’t procrastinate.
Spiritual preparation is something that I always intend to make a priority, but never feel satisfied with on the night before the trip. It is also a discipline that I often neglect to engage in fully until I am feeling the full urgency of the trip upon me. Until the weight of the impact we could have on a community lands on me. Until the burden of the souls we will encounter falls on my heart. It is for this reason that I never get any sleep on the night before. I know I can’t leave until my bag is packed, but I can’t focus on packing my bag while feeling so unprepared for the task before me.
Fortunately, our God is greater and I know that He has been preparing me and my team for a lifetime. Every experience, every prayer, every encounter I’ve ever had will prepare me for this week. As is habit, I know that I will come to remember this soon enough and will find peace in the fact that we are capable of doing nothing on our own, but empowered by the Holy Spirit to carry out His will in absolutely everything we do. And I’ll get packed and make it to the airport on time. I may even get an hour or two of sleep this time.
In the meantime, let me tell you about the trip and how you can go with us in prayer. I am going to Nicaragua with a 13 person team from my Athens church, Oconee Heights Baptist. We will be there for one week (July 1-8th) and will be primarily doing construction work (building a house I believe) and a sports/Bible camp for the kids in the community of Matagalpa. We plan to teach them about the fruits of the Spirit at the camp. I cannot promise I will blog each night, but you can find updates on our team blog : http://www.ohbcnicaragua.blogspot.com/. I will be taking pictures and loading them there!
Please pray for the team, that we will be strengthened each day to work hard to meet the needs of the people there. That we will be burdened with love for the people that we encounter and share the love of Christ with them. That we will be humbled and at the mercy of the power of Christ to work through us, that we may not boast. That we will be flexible and discern the guidance of the Spirit each day. That we will be bold in proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel in love. That we will be united as a team and work together effectively. That we will glorify God in all that we do.
Please pray for the people of Nicaragua. For the children that come to the camp, that they would come with hungry hearts and open minds to hear the Gospel. That they would feel the love of Christ from us and recognize its significance. That the children would take what they learn and share it with their parents and other children in the community. That we would have opportunity each day to speak and share the Gospel with the people in our village. That we would recognize physical and spiritual needs around us and reach out to meet them. That the Kingdom of God would grow in the country of Nicaragua.
I firmly believe that prayer is the single most powerful preparation for any mission and I covet your prayers for us!
Now I will go back to packing… 🙂
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