Well, to start, we are back in Denver. We arrived here on Friday around 2:30 am. Exhausted and dreaming of a bed!
I would have to say our last week of outreach, in Vegas, proved to be the longest and hardest stretch. After experiencing a culture with the limited “comforts” that we normally have, and arriving in a city where there is everything imaginable. 12, 000 kinds of candy, clothing, shoes, ice cream flavors, etc… it was a slight temptation for most of the team. A temptation to check out and head right back into the comforts and not into the flow of what God wanted to do in Vegas.
Our week began with many a jet lag-ged folk, getting only a few hours of sleep each evening, and finding ourselves completely exhausted by the afternoon, ready for bed. We worked hard to get everyone up and ready to work at the Pier, cleaning and moving things in.
It took a lot longer on each project than anticipated. But the end result was good! The base really felt blessed by the team, and they blessed us in return with their encouragement and prayers for us.
Our team had a huge struggle in unity in Vegas. There were two visions that were given to our team, visions of destruction and disunity. They were actually really frightening to Ted and I, making us wonder what is going on? What, if anything, would happen? It was a tiny bit upsetting.
Ted and I prayed and felt with the first vision we need to trust God and put it on the back burner. So then when the second vision came, this one specifically about all of the girls of the team, Ted and I knew there was something God wanted to do. Something that God wanted teach us as a team.
Within a day of the 2nd vision Ted and I saw exactly what God was trying to show us all along. Little ways which the team, mostly the girls had compromised while on outreach. In their talking, in their relationships, and in their times with God. Not that there is condemnation, not at all!
He was just trying to show them areas in which they needed to grow. And as a whole, areas in which the team needs to grow and be humble in. We had 2 days of complete disunity. Ted and I felt terrible, like nothing would be resolved among the team. We felt weary and afraid.
God really spoke to us about speaking with the team and about loving each other. Don’t get me wrong, our team unity for most of the outreach was really amazing but God saw deeper and wanted to deal with the few things.
One night Ted just poured his heart to the team, speaking of what God had shared with us about the team. A challenge to love as Christ in EVERY circumstance, not just in the moments when we feel like doing so. It is a struggle to do so, but you can!
The next day we decided to get the team together for a time of talking, apologizing (if needed), being humble, tears maybe, and ultimately restoration. Ted and I felt like we should lead however God wants to lead, whatever God wanted to do, He would do it.
And He did.
He brought complete restoration and encouragement to the hearts of the team. I call this blog An End with a Beginning because I really felt like our last week was just that for the students and for Ted and I!
Thank You for your prayers while we were gone. Honestly we could really feel them and we knew that people were standing behind us, lifting us up each day!
we love you