Mission Moldova

The first meeting of the Moldova UpStreet mission team is in the books. Having looked forward to meeting all the other team members, I wonder if anyone walked in the room with these feelings: Who are the others? Will I know anyone? Will I like them? Will they like me? Will I have anything to contribute? Do I have to speak out loud? I’m just a __, and he/she’s a ___. I don’t know what I’m doing.
I’m too young/old/fat/thin/tall/short/dumb/smart/conventional/busy to be a part of this group. What am I doing here? I’m not worthy. Is it too late to back out?

But they were fleeting thoughts if ever thought.

In typical NorthPoint fashion, the meeting was well organized and equipped with necessary forms, supplies, CG slides, video, snacks, and bottled water. Of course, the team leaders, Michael and Anna Simmons were on their game. They made the environment welcoming, quickly tearing down any inhibitions one might have felt upon entering the door.

I was especially excited to meet Tim Fancher. I’d seen his name around a while and had been following him on Twitter a few weeks. An innate sense told me I was going to like this guy, and that sense was correct. He’d been strategically placed beside me, and my family warmed to him immediately. My boys became Fancher fans at the first meeting. He talked tech with Bronson, and he acknowledged Braeden’s music, asking if he’d take his guitar along on the mission trip. Yep, that’s all it took. He’s “in”!

In my typical note-taking fashion, I jotted down everyone’s names as we went around the tables introducing ourselves in an effort to remember something about each of them. I snapped a few pictures so that I could put a face with a name.

Hearing what everyone does in their real lives and how they are connected with the church, particularly with UpStreet, made it more clear how relevant each of us is to the team. A well-placed orchestra is in the making complete with each section—strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion. Watch out, world, we’re bound to make beautiful music together for God’s glory.

A show of hands informed us that this mission trip is the first for the majority of the participants, so we are thankful for experienced and fearless leaders. (Yes, our leader jumped out of an airplane a few days ago—on purpose!)

A special visit by Andre, the “man from Moldova,” highlighted the meeting.

Andre gave us first-hand information about what we could expect on our trip to Chisinau and to Meteora, the Christian Community Center. After viewing the video, we’re assured that we won’t be roughing it as one usually thinks of a mission trip. On the contrary, we’ll be going into a poor, totally secular city where the people don’t feel a need for God, where they don’t know the term “preacher” but understand that the lessons they’re taught make sense. I was struck by how similar that sounds to so many in our own country. Our own families, perhaps.

Paperwork, passports, and all the other business of getting the groundwork done will be going on behind the scenes until our next meeting in three weeks. Until then, let’s raise some funds and keep thinking globally. See you on the ‘Street, the UpStreet.

Snipping the Apron Strings

I wear an apron when I cook and figuratively snipped off a little bit of string this morning as I waved goodbye and watched my two sons backing the little “Honda Box” out of the driveway—a debit card in my hand for an offer to “fill it up” on me. The offer declined. It wasn’t part of our agreement. He’ll take care of his own gas.

It was the first time the boys have driven to school alone. Exhale. It made sense to allow it today. No baseball practice after school, no need to be in different directions. It’s a perfectly sunny day—no weather worries. No husband here this morning to drive them, just do it.

They weren’t expecting it. I surprised them with the idea to go on their own. I packed their lunches, hugged and kissed them goodbye, prayed for them, and sent them on their merry way.

It’s a rite of passage, so to speak, and a nice bite-size piece for this mother to digest. Go, be free, be careful, be on time, and come back home safely to our house this afternoon. They both might be just a tad taller when they do.