We LOVE Puerto Rico!

04 July2009

A little report from under the mango tree…

It’s our first day here in Isabella, Puerto Rico and it’s a balmy breezy day. Today is our day to prepare for the ministry we’ll be engaged in this week. Our goal is to walk away with tools in our tool belt, to have available whenever God might open an opportunity for us to share His love. We’ll jump into our normal ministry schedule first thing in the morning. After a long travel day, it’s been great to have today to get organized and prepared for the week. Today’s been a busy day but of course we’re managing to have lots of fun as well! 

We’ve prepared for the ministry we’ll be engaging in, but we’ve also prepared our hearts further for what God’s going to do. Today’s been a great opportunity for us as a team to discover who we are and what we’re about here. It’s also a time of preparation for ourselves – to have time to process what God’s been doing in our hearts, to pray together, and encourage each other.

This morning we spent time as a team discussing the importance of a team covenant and then the team developed our covenant. The covenant was well thought out and bathed in prayer. It was fun to watch the process of this covenant coming together and the team has really taken ownership of this. This is what was developed.                                 Puerto Rico Ambassador Team Covenant

1)      We are a team of worship. (John 4:22-24)

2)      We are a team of inclusion, not exclusion. A team of unity. (John 17:22-23)

3)      We are a team of perseverance. (James 1:2-4)

4)      We are a team of servanthood. (Deut. 15:10-11)

Later in the morning we broke into 3 groups and began sharing our life stories with each other. As I looked around the circle, I saw faces of teenagers who have been through so much in their lives. Through this activity, we’re able to share our hearts with each other. We ministered to each other through this time – speaking life and truth into each other, praying for each other, and sharing encouragement from our own life experiences. Throughout this time God was glorified and I could just sense Him beaming as we sat around bragging on Him and how we’ve seen Him at work in our lives. We also had some time to develop our individual testimonies of who God is to us.  Then the students planned a children’s church service that we’ll use tomorrow, and they organized an afternoon of ministry at an orphanage. Here at the retreat center we’re calling home, we’ve found a favorite spot…under the mango trees. We’ve had quite the productive day here.

In our downtime, it’s almost a guarantee you’ll find at least 6 or 7 students climbing the huge trees. Some will be chasing around a huge 3 ft. long iguana they’ve affectionately named Winston. The guitars will often emerge and impromptu worship will ensue. A few of the girls like to go hunting for coconuts. They just ran up and said, “look, we found a REAL coconut!” They’ve spent the last hour with a multi-tool in hand trying to conquer the coconut. We are, after all, a team of perseverance! J It’s fun to see everyone simply enjoying life together here!   Tomorrow we’ll travel to Cabo Rojo, about 90 minutes away to attend church at our host church. 

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