I wasn’t planning on sharing about my team just yet. I had a different story drafted out, all ready to go, but that’ll have to wait for another day.
After spending only a few hours with part of my team last night, I was again reminded why I love them so much.
And this is the condensed version; I could really go on for HOURS AND HOURS, but I will spare you that.
Team Indonesia is composed of eleven personalities.
I personality typed everyone on the trip, and statistically speaking, everyone was either too alike (Simeon and I) or too different (Nicole and Haidang) to get along. Eleven people that shouldn’t get along and three weeks in a foreign country is a recipe for disaster.
There were planners, non-planners, public schoolers, homeschoolers, girls, boys, neatfreaks, go with the flow people, athletes, artists. It was a sampler plate of every kind of personality you can get.
The amazing thing is, the differing personalities had an effect that was not at all negative.
Everything was positive.
It didn’t come with just a snap of the fingers though. Much of our team devotion time was spent in passages that taught about unity, humbleness, putting others’ interests before our own, and each person on the team made a conscious CHOICE to obey.
We had this acronym within the team: FAMILY. It stood for “Forget about me, I love you.” That was the choice every team member decided to make for the benefit of themselves, the team, and people who would be watching.
Each person, whenever they were irritated at someone or something, made a choice to put on the mentality “It’s MY problem, not theirs.”
Each person, made the choice to submit to leadership without complaining or grumbling, whether or not they liked the task put before them.
Each person dwelt and leaned on the strengths of his/her teammates, and ignored and covered the weaknesses.
We became FAMILY. The body of Christ actually functioning as a body. The different personalities weren’t a hindrance, they were keys to opening several doors.
I am so thankful for every member of the team I traveled with. They are my brothers and sisters. We laughed together (maybe too much), cried together, prayed with each other, wrote songs together, had good discussions together, and developed great bonds.
There was absolutely NO gossip. I am 1000000% positive of that.
UNHEARD of in today’s world.
And we “shouldn’t get along.”
God worked in each and everyone’s heart to achieve this result. It wasn’t solely based on anything we “did”, rather by listening to God’s instructions of how He intended for us to live in the first place.
One thing that really helped our team, was dedication to praises and encouragement.
We had van rides to and from our ministry sites every day. They were about 7 minutes long each. 7 minutes out of 24 hours seems sort of insignificant, but over time it racks up. 7 minutes x 2 times a day x 15 days = 210 minutes. A grand total of 3 & 1/2 hours in the van. That’s a pretty good chunk of time.
That 3 & 1/2 hours became utitlized in praises and encouragement. On the van ride to our site, everyone gave a praise from the morning, from the trip as a whole, from some recent experience. It was an incredible way to focus on the positive and what we did have as opposed to what we didn’t have and what was “not planned.” Throughout the day, the team was asked to observe each other and find ways to encourage one another throughout the day. I remember one day I was extremely tired, and then all of a sudden, Lindsey came up to me and encouraged me. A few hours later, Jesse did the same. A few hours later, Haidang did the same. Little did they know how awesome that was. On the van rides home, we’d encourage each other with things we appreciate about one another, using specific examples from the day. Again, dwelling on the positive, not the negative.
Oh what a difference all of this made on our attitudes toward each other.
I am very thankful for our team leaders, who have invested so much time and energy in their labor of love for the team and for the ministries we served at. They are so dear to us, such wonderful mentors and friends.
Even today, we are still continuing to pray for each other and encourage each other. The other day, I had a LONG phone date with my roomie from the Wisma, Joanna. It was SO revitalizing. We talked about our goals and what passages we’ve been reading and so on. 1 hour and 36 minutes. It felt like maybe five.
The concepts of unity and family still are put into use at home. I know it’s one of my big goals and strivings. It’s a lot harder at home, but it’s worth it.
As I was on the road to Oregon last night, I was in the long stretch of highway that never seems to end. I wondered “I’m spending more time driving than I’m going to spend there. Is it going to be worth it?”
Once the partial team came together again, I was able to answer my question with a confident “Yes.”
It was a no-brainer.
I love my team. Simple as that. I am so blessed to have each and every team member/family member in my life.