Wednesday, July 27, 2016

mission teams & trinity fitness

wisman, elder & the BV rainbow
have you ever literally seen the end of a rainbow?  trinity fitness' recent visit started with a beautiful rainbow coming through the clouds and landing directly in our village!

maybe it was a sign of things to come...  because this was a special group of people that showered the Rinos AND Rinas with love and friendship.

i'm not going to lie...  mission teams can be, well... interesting. sometimes a bit of a challenge :)

in fact, i recently shared a post with my entire family from a girl who works in full time mission work.  her post was about photography, and how people who visit 3rd world countries can sometimes exploit the poor with their search for the perfect shot.  she even went as far to say that some people literally make the trip just to get that ideal selfie or image of themselves serving the poor, or holding an orphaned child.

she quipped, "ever since my experience, my profile picture will never be the same."

maybe a little cynical.  but...  those of us who work on the ground in missions, specifically in places of extreme poverty, can no doubt relate to those situations.

the famous Trinity Victory Pose
for us at dSg and bvsa, we have re-structured how we do mission teams.  always striving to revolve everything we do around the betterment of the village and the local people (not the visitors), we moved away from hosting "mission trips" and renamed them "partner visits."  maybe that seems like a subtle difference, but we see it as more than just a name change.

as we grow, we continue re-evaluating and checking ourselves.  we want to work hard AND smart.  we want our workload to line up with our priorities.  and we want our energy to be proportionately in line with the end goal God has called us to.  anyone is business (and hopefully ministry) know what i'm talking about!

so as we continue to serve this community, in hopes of raising up it's future leaders who will break the generational chains of poverty and abuse, we aim to partner with people who truly want to help in that process.

while some ministries that host mission teams work hard to impact the american visitors, that is simply not the priority that God has laid most heavy on our hearts in this place.   the cool thing is, as we truly dial-in on the goals to serve the local village, it happens anyway.

back to our recent visit from trinity fitness...

these friends came with the intent to serve, love, and work hard.  not once did i feel that anyone was in it for themselves.  real friendships were made, tears were shed, and lives were changed.  i am thankful to anthony and denea widener for many years of friendship.  they have long been supportive of the rhinos and all of our work.  they believe in our philosophy on "partner visits", and they bring folks who also desire to get involved with something meaningful and long-term.

30 Rinas in their new running shoes!
this was a week that included games, dancing, lots of exercise, hiking, visiting families in their homes, praying with struggling moms, blessing young girls with God's love (as well as some new shoes), soccer, music, a special time with our friend cesar, lots of prayer, and lots of tears mixed with lots of laughing.  and it ended with an announcement that trinity fitness had raised the funds to take all 32 boys on a 3-day trip to see the famous ruins of Tikal next month!

i think its safe to say that the trinity fitness team 2016 truly left a mark of love and encouragement.

anthony - i never would have thought, when you walked into my sports agency in 2002 looking for representation... that our story would lead us to where we are!  we were both lost at that time, pursuing the wrong things.  we were both rescued by the grace of jesus the following year, and then in 2005 God reconnected us and restored our friendship - this time centered around Him!  he truly is the Redeemer.  its an honor to be in this fight with you my friend.  through all the ups and downs, God receives all the glory.  lets keep running hard together!

thanks to the entire trinity fitness team for a great week!  and for not being "that kind of missionary" that the above mentioned girl was talking about in her blog post :)

Trinity 2016 team with the Rhinos (holding up their Tikal trip ticket)

No comments: