Interactive Sermon

"Those who have the disease called Jesus will never be cured" ~Old Russian Proverb

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

G.O. 2005: Namibia (pt. 2)

Here is the second installment of my trip summary for the 2005 G.O. Team experience. Part one was posted on 9/19/05.

Simple Gifts
And when we find ourselves in the place just right…
I’ve often joked that if I can tell the Board of Elders at Christ’s Church that something hasn’t been done before, you’ll see a gleam in their eyes. With this trip it certainly was true. As I shared the trip proposal with our Board of Elders I readily admitted that every book on the subject would tell us not to do this. To this one of the Elders responded, “Maybe it’s time we write a new book.” Our staff too, caught the vision and signed on for duty above and beyond the call. And the congregation, that tremendous collection of souls we call Christ’s Church, once again demonstrated that remarkable pioneering spirit to allow so much leadership time, effort and resource to be dedicated to making this trip a reality. This just sort of made sense for CCA. It’s who we are.

It made sense, too, for the Melissa Hoffman Dance Center. In the years that our girls have taken classes at MHDC, I’ve been thankful that Melissa and her staff have impressed upon the dancers the importance of using their talents to bless others. Regularly performing for local charities and benefits, HIV/AIDS in Africa seemed like a natural, albeit a geographically challenging, fit. Our friend, dance teacher and choreographer Sandi and I had spoken about the potential of such a trip for a couple of years. As the plans began coming together I routinely prayed, ‘Will any of the teenage dancers actually be allowed to go?’

I do God a huge disservice here in abridging His story. I believe it to be nothing short of divine appointment that He brought together 1 teacher (Sandi), 14 teenage dancers, and 2 relatives thru MHDC. Some of the circumstances that surround these 17 people and their individual paths to our team and this trip are deserving that entire chapters be written.

Though this wasn’t technically a ‘Christ’s Church – specific’ trip, we also needed the right Christ’s Church folks to sign on to help form and lead this team to the field, and to bless our friends on the ground in Namibia. I prayed that God would bring together those who were Namibia trip veterans and those who would be first-timers, to be the perfect fit for such an unorthodox endeavor. God marvelously provided. Again, many of the stories of their assembly would stand alone as God sightings.

Looking back, I stand in awe of our God as an artist, fashioning a diverse group of people, for a specific window of opportunity, in a determined location, and for certain tasks – putting us all in the place where we were to be for those 17 days – to be in step with His work in each of our lives.

But I am getting ahead of myself.