Nothing to see here. Everything is TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL
We occasionally feel like we have everything under control.
Our last team was not one of those occasions.
We had been concerned about some of the project details for some time, you don’t need to know all the gory details, but it came down to the last minute, and we had to change the project. With a week before the team arrived. In a country we don’t live in, so things aren’t always as easy. I was discussing this with the Panamanian pastor later and I told him, “Normally this would be something . . .” and he filled in with the word, “traumatic.” Well, yes. If we’re going to be blunt. Normally, this would be traumatic.
But it wasn’t, because thank goodness we serve a God who is in control and whose ways are higher than our ways.
As soon as we found out it was switching, we both felt an incredible peace and excitement that we had never sensed with the first project. Not to say it is a bad project at all, but it just wasn’t the RIGHT project for this team.
Cue the scramble to readjust plans, food, buy materials, etc.
(There are a lot of steps to get down to the church, and all the materials have to get there somehow. That means carrying them down on your back, one load at a time.)
I had also been feeling pretty nervous about meeting the team as well. They had been fantastic to communicate with, but as a result of the challenges with the project, I felt like I had given them partial or insufficient information for months. I seemed to always be asking them for a little more patience to get the details they needed.
I was fairly certain that the team leader’s first thought when she met me would be, “So this is the idiot I’ve been talking to this whole time.”
When the team arrived, the team leader was the warmest, sweetest lady you’d ever hope to meet. I’m 99% certain she wasn’t calling me a moron since she hugged me and immediately started making friends with my (admittedly adorable) offspring.
We saw God working in great ways at the church / project. There was an instant connection between the church members and the team members. It was fascinating and humbling watch everyone surmounting the language barrier with drawings, hand gestures, hugs, slap-stick comedy and genuine smiles. It was beautiful. It was what God intended all along.
(This picture was taken after a spontaneous bilingual hymn / worship music mid-afternoon jam session.)
After this team, it was easy to say that it was not through our talents, planning or foresight, but through the power of God that there was anything good. And there was so much good. We serve an all-powerful God who is willing to be involved even in the intimate details. Don’t forget it! Don’t forget to remind me of it.