I am a person who can’t see the trees for the forest; so organizing a trip for 24 people is a little overwhelming… let alone the fact that 14 of the people on the trip couldn’t pay for the majority of the costs. On top of the individual trip costs, we had to raise money for the medicine, supplies, and toilet project… a total of $4000 additional. I’m also not good at coming up with crazy ideas for fundraising, especially here in Colombia, where missions and mission trips are a relatively “new” idea to most churches.
We had our annual “Celebrate Colombia” day at school, and I was able to tell all the parents about the upcoming Amazon trip and ask for their prayers and financial support. I like talking about the trip and getting people excited about what the Lord is doing in the Amazon; but what put me out of my comfort zone was walking up to the parents after the main celebration and asking them to donate towards the trip. I had an offering bag, and just walked up to everyone. It made me feel so uncomfortable, but I knew that if I didn’t ask, they wouldn’t give. We raised enough money that day to pay for 1 ½ trips! So, it was worth it… but it was hard for me!
That same day, I was talking to a mother about putting together a worship event/fundraiser for the trip. I think I looked at her with a blank stare, wondering how in the world it could happen. I knew we would be able to use my church, but I didn’t have time to work on getting a whole concert together! The mom told me that if I organized it all, she would get her dance team together to help out. There was that word again…. Organize. As if I didn’t already have enough to organize!
But, we did it! The following weekend, my middle-school worship team put together a great bi-lingual worship concert, and we had an amazing time of prayer for the Amazon, Bogota, Colombia, South America and the Nations. The community also surrounded the team and prayed specifically for us and what the Lord had for us in the Amazon. We felt so empowered!!! The dance team was also a great addition to everything, as they danced while we worshiped with song! I can honestly say that the entire evening was one of the coolest things I’ve been a part of for a very long time! And, we raised enough money for 3 more people’s trips!
During the months of planning and preparing, the Lord was so faithful in my weaknesses! He would continually bring people alongside to help me, as well as allow me to push myself to get better. However, I don’t know if planning and organizing is something I should keep pushing myself to get better at, or if I should find one person who thrives on details and organization to be a part of our team. This is my struggle now. I can honestly say that I drown in details. I am so much more of a big-picture person that I get lost in the tiniest of details, and it really affects me. The tricky part is finding a person who is going to stay around for a while. Most of the teachers at ECA stay 1-2 years… if they stay for 3, that’s a blessing! So, I am praying that I find a Colombian who will come alongside me and commit to these trips as much as Leo and I have… for the long-haul!