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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday

Just keeping people posted as much as we can -- this morning, early, the team split up. Julie K. and I went north by bus to Boracay, where we eventually arrived safe and sound to enjoy a few days' rest. The rest of the team (Julie C., Sharon, and Vic) were scheduled to speak at Grace Church this morning, then fly out for Manila and a meeting with some of the National Alpha Organization there tonight. Tomorrow they'll fly out for the states. Please keep them and their travels, and us and our rest, in your prayers.

We did a little debriefing yesterday during devotions and then later at Shakey's Pizza. (Yes, there's a Shakey's in Iloilo, and they received much of our loyalty. In between feasting on mangoes, batchoy, longsilog, bangus, and chicken adobo (among other things, and that's just the ones I remember names), we needed a taste of home once in a while and therefore went out for pizza a few times. It was SOOO good.) It was good both to talk about how we had grown & changed personally as well as evaluating the entire GAT from start to finish, and then to consider what we might do differently if we had it all to do over again. Each of us agreed that we can't really evaluate how we've changed at this point -- we can just begin to open the doors to understand at a beginning level how God has worked in us these last days.

I don't doubt that this team -- and many of our ground crew as well -- will become hooked on GAT-type mission trips. In some ways, this is an entirely new level of mission trip for Central. It is not only going to serve someone somewhere else (like many of our mission trips have been) but it is also providing spiritual leadership for churches that really want to grow. It was so exciting to see each member of the team step up and minister to pastors and church leaders that wanted specific tools to see their churches grow in evangelism and discipleship.

Can't WAIT to hear how this impacts us -- and what fruit it bears -- in the coming weeks and months at home.

By the way, note to the ground crew: Be prepared to hear lots of stories, and to get your heart hooked so that next time, you're determined to be on the flight crew. Now that you've given so much of yourself to pray for and support this GAT, God has an open door into your heart. It's going to be SO fun -- I can't wait!

The other thing I'm eager to see is how God uses this GAT to make changes in the churches in and around Iloilo, Bacolod, and Guimaras. Filipino brothers and sisters, you are in our prayers and our hearts!

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