Team Ministry

         Ministry this past week has looked a little different than what we all envisioned.  We didn’t actually get to Swaziland until Wednesday night, and only started “real” ministry at a care point on Friday.  So what have we done the rest of the time?  I like to think of it as team ministry: getting to know, care, and love each other.  It’s been hard.  Seventeen girls, who just met each other, living together 24/7 is as difficult as it sounds.  Especially when it consists of sleeping on the floor in Georgia, taking bucket showers, having 50+ hours of travel and very little sleep, and then getting to a foreign country, where you have to take the shortest, coldest showers ever so everyone gets water.  And there’s been some frustration.  “What’s the point of the past week?  I came on this mission trip to serve.”

            But what God has showed me during this time of figuring out what our team norms are going to be is that to serve and love God’s children, you have to be able to serve and love the people you are serving with.  Whether that means washing each other’s hair in an airport sink, or sharing your chocolate when somebody needs something sweet, or listening when a teammate needs to talk about how they’re feeling, because none of us really know what we’re feeling right now.  It’s impossible to serve as a team without knowing and trying to understand your teammates, because after a long and hard day of ministry, you need to be able to go to each other to process, so the next day you can go back ready and refreshed to love some more kids.

            So after our first day of “real” ministry with the children, we talked about the amazing, joyful, difficult things that happened as a team.  And then we got silly, and laughed for the next two hours about everything and nothing.  I love my team, and hope that we stay silly, and we continue to grow together and individually, and help each other serve the people we came here to serve.  I think we’re off to a really good start, and this past week of team ministry was just as meaningful as what we’ll be doing the rest of the time here in Swaziland.

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