Here are some of the things I do for teams I lead-
Get them all into a Facebook Group just for the team and GoSendMe Global staff.
Communicate the details there of the work and share updates from Lesvos.
Group video conference call at least twice to talk about the attitude and perspective and logistics, as well as answer any questions.
Stay available through texting, email and FB for any and all ongoing questions.
I ask each team member to create a prayer team just for the trip, to begin praying daily a month in advance at least, and try to make PRAYER the priority over the trip.
I share a couple of videos I've done that seem to set the right tone- one is a response to the week overall from my first trip, the other is a refugee camp walk through that helps them see ahead of time what their responsibilities could be. (Video 1 and Video 2 and Video 3)
We hammer in some ideology:
The main question is simply, "What is God doing amidst the refugee crisis, and how has He called me to personally respond and co-labor with Him?" All other questions may be good questions, but they aren't the main Kingdom question.
Everyone in the world bears the image of God whether we like it or not- you will be confronted with personal prejudices you did not know you had, and God WILL pour His love into your heart to pour onto them, if you will let Him.
God loves everyone in the world very much, as exemplified through John 3:16
God is already more active in these people's lives than we can imagine. He is doing miracles in the camps and on the island. He is softening hearts in ways we have prayed for for many years. Our role is to join Him in His glorious purpose of loving these souls into His Kingdom.
These people are humans like us- and we are not on site to evaluate their decisions and choices but to be the fragrant aroma of Christ experienced for the first time for most of them.
We are not just there to serve, but to be treated like SERVANTS. Many go on trips stating they are there to serve, but get huffy once you start treating them like servants. Let's be clear in the beginning of this expectation.
Flexibility is an understatement. The one thing you can count on is that nothing can be counted on day to day. If you are "flexible", you are still too rigid. Be prepared in your minds for the kind of minute by minute dependence on the Holy Spirit to know how to think, speak and respond to a constant sea of change. Expect the unexpected.
We will debrief every day, and walk through what I call "Stress/Bless". This is where each person must share one thing that stressed them and one thing that blessed them that day. This has always led to good healthy daily ministry among the teams.
I also stress that the nature of our expectations regarding outcomes is usually unbiblical. The obedient servant who sows is no less than the one who gets to see harvest. As we experienced first hand, someone gave 4 men Bibles in Turkey, but they professed Christ before us on Lesvos. We just got to be there for the birth. We are not on Lesvos for ANY outcome other than to be able to say, "We are unworthy servants and we have only done our duty." (Luke 17:10). THAT is where our joy is made full- in the desire to do what is pleasing to the Lord, in simple, humble obedience. This is where we learn to leap and fly in faith, trusting Him as we serve the least of these, letting His good Spirit go before us and permeate the darkness through us.
Last but not least is that we discuss how little we are cognizant that we really ARE lights in the darkness because of the Holy Spirit shining through us- supernaturally and yet quite unforced, without effort, without compulsion or restraint. We ARE the fragrant aroma of Christ. Our very presence is the glimpse of Christ because of Him that lives through us. We can TAKE A BREATH OF GRACE in this, and not feel the need to make things happen or force our way into the Gospel, or feel we have failed if that Gospel conversation door never opens for us, despite our desire and willingness- because our joy, our confidence, our servant spirit, our LOVE is at work to build the case for Christ in the hearts of men and women who are fleeing hate, fear, terror and violence. As one Muslim man stated on our first trip to younger men around him, "Do you see these infidels serving us? I tell you, the soles of their shoes are worth a million of our Muslims." Only God does that.
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