Tuesday, January 03, 2012


I’ve been planning a mission trip for almost a year.  Yes, I stepped off the plane on January 12 of 2011 and declared it would all be done again.  Many go on mission trips to provide medical help, some to teach English, but me, I get to throw parties. 

I enjoy planning and going to parties.  But mostly, I enjoy the anticipation of a party.  I plan this event like I would if I were planning a party for my own children.

It’s not every day they get to eat meat so the finest Ethiopian cow will be served and each child will have their very own bottle of Coke or Fanta.  All children should get to drink Cokes at Christmas.  I would spend many weeks talking about the price of sheep/goats and how many sheep can $100 buy and He gently whispered…you’re not buying sheep this time

The kids in line for Christmas dinner 

A new shirt that was designed just for them.  We would take a great team picture with all the kids, but He again whispered…you might not be in the picture.

They're all getting a new t-shirt that looks like this 

And some will get new shoes because God has a great sense of humor and never lets any team that I'm leading to cross the Atlantic without shoes. 

My favorite guy getting some Spiderman shoes last year
He never said I couldn’t go, so I just continued on with the planning because I didn’t have any reason not to go.  He knows how I like to anticipate these days of party planning and seeing all of the children that have captured my heart.  Then came a reason not to go.  Two years ago I walked on to a plane because God clearly told me to go.  Obedience meant going when He gave me the big and loud: GO!  But obedience also means staying when He gave me the quiet and gentle whisper: just stay. 
The morning after I made the final decision, I read this quote:
Extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience. (Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick)

Project 61 January Team
  I’m praying that God does extraordinary things with this group!
So I just gave out 19 hugs and put all these people on a plane without me. They will have a great trip.  They will buy sheep, tell the many children that I love about Jesus, place shoes on dirty feet, and take lots of pictures of the Ethiopian Christmas Extravaganza.  They will be gripped by His grace as they love hundreds, and I will be gripped by His grace as I love one. 

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