I had a dream in 2008 when I took the youth to Nicaragua. It was our last night before going home. That dream sealed the deal between God and I with my call to ministry. Every question I had was put to rest because the dream told me without a shadow of a doubt: this is your path. I had a similar dream the night before the team arrived here in Guatemala. Both dreams involved teams that were experiencing life-transforming moments in Latin America. God has a way of speaking to us when we are out of our daily context and standing in the place of dependence on the Spirit. I have learned to enjoy this adventure. And I love the team assembled for the adventure we are having this week.
Angellie returns for a second time in Guatemala. She is great with the children – an automatic magnet for the little hands that reach out to see if she is really there. And she definitely is “really there”. Angellie’s heart has grown even more over the past year. Her bilingual skills make her spiritual gifts tremendously effective. I see a great leader emerging in this girl. Very soon the days of awkwardness with cultural differences and language challenges will be finished. Angellie’s generation doesn’t know that awkwardness – they only know a multi-cultural “norm”. How wonderful! The vision Christ paints for us “all nations, tribes, languages and races” is coming into full view. Angellie is part of that vision.
Pappa Grande (AKA, Steve Fulton) was in Guatemala on a team mission in 2011. The Spirit nudged him back in a leadership role in 2013 as he helped us assess projects and make sense of an overwhelming list of needs. His leadership has blessed us in many different ways. We laugh at each other; clearly experiencing the truth that we all have different gifts, and each of those is needed for the things God invites us to join. Steve’s heart is a big as he is…grande! And no matter how frustrating a moment can be, one little hand reaching for his, is all it takes to make Pappa Grande melt like snow on a Colorado mountain top. The Son has a way of doing that every time:)
Jennie is our champion of courage. She joined our team without knowing anyone. She skyped in on team meetings while still at college. On the first night at the mission site when the team had to do impromptu introductions, Jennie stepped right up and gave her first mini-speech of “hello” in Guatemala. Today she worked on the stove team and all her Spanish classes paid off quite well! A sophomore at UT Knoxville, she and Rachel are trying to convince us that UT is producing some amazing young adults for this world. Well…maybe they are right; these girls are IMPRESSIVE! I’m thankful for the courage of this generation. And equally grateful for the adults around them that have eyes to see what they offer us. We are blessed.
I believe with certainty that each team is nudged into reality by the Spirit’s power. The timing is God’s. The guiding is Christ’s. The equipping is the Spirit’s. Every person on this team brings something that we need as “whole”. Part of the adventure is figuring out what that is and setting it on fire for God’s glory. This is what it looks like when a miracle unfolds on earth.