After planning and completing an amazing mission trip to Chicago, it was time to get to work on this mission. To be honest, I've been stressed out - the result of an overwhelming amount of homework (yay Greek!) and prepping to take 25 people on international mission. From organizing countless forms, making multiple copies of insurance cards, passports and notarization to leave the county to prayerfully seeking God's words for this team as I write devotions, there's been a lot to do. I've felt the stress and weight of making sure this trip goes well (as well as it can) and is a positive experience for the high school team, college age team and adults. I want it to be perfect, not for my sake, but because I want nothing to come in the way of this team meeting God - maybe again, maybe for the first time.
Today, I sit in my office, with my desk (mostly) clear. The planning is complete, all the loose ends are tied up. The Ipod is stocked with music. The last of my homework has been submitted, so I'm free from that for two weeks (PRAISE GOD!)... From where I sit today, this is the best part of the preparation. I am free. I am free from all the things I have to do, get done and complete. I'm free to surrender to worship and prayer.
The truth is, as I've planned and prepped for this mission, I've been overwhelmed, not by all that needs to be done, but the words and prayers God is giving me for this team.
Countless times I've gone through the high school team list and God has given me prayers for these people. Or words for their families or parents. Our high school ministry has grown - maybe not wide, but deep - these last few years. Our faithfulness to God, our obedience to his will, has been fruitful. This high school teams is ready for whatever God brings. They are open, they are fearless, they are found in Christ. And so I pray in anticipation for what he will bring each of them on the mission.
Our college team has rendered me speechless, breathless and on my knees in prayer for them and for what God will do through them on this mission. This team has been on my heart since day one of youth ministry, when they weren't much older than my son. As we have met, talked, prayed and chiseled in preparation for this mission, God has revealed much. He is carefully preparing for heart, soul and mind surgery on each of them. They know it. I know it. I am overcome with a sense that God is on the move within each of these young adults.
And so today and in the days ahead, I am free of what I need to do, and find myself free falling to my knees. I humbly invite you to join me and to pray for this team and the mission ahead:
Prayer Requests (Full Team)
- Pray for the community of Catadupa
- Pray for the youth team from Ashburn Presbyterian (who will be there with us)
- Open hearts and minds to the work of God.
- Hearts open to surrender and freedom in Christ
- Pray for lives changed for God's glory
- Wisdom for our leadrs
- Our team time, prayer time and worship
- Boldness in sharing the good news of Jesus with one another and the people of Catadupa
- Strength and endurance for the hard work, heat and new surroundings
- Traveling mercies (long flights, drives, roads)
- Health, wellness and safety
- That all of our financial needs would be met
Prayer Requests (High School Team)
- For our graduated seniors, as they complete their last mission with Youth Ministry
- Strengthened faith and relationship with the Lord
- Commitment to serving God not just on mission, but at home
- Open eyes to where we can serve others
- Divine appointments for this team, that God would meet them where they are at
Prayer Requests (College Team)
- Discernment of future plans, as God speaks on this mission
- Wisdom for decisions about college, ministry and mission callings
- Strength and wisdom in allowing God to prune their lives of things not of him
- Strength to boldly proclaim Christ to the high school team
- Release the burden of guilt, shame, accept forgiveness so they can be open to God's healing and work
Prayer Requests (Leaders)
- That all needs at home/work would be met as we lead and serve
- That we would feel peace about our decision to lead mission
- That our children at home will be cared for in our absence
- For the people caring for our kids and helping our families
- For our spouses, as we lead and serve this team