As I write this blog. I write grateful for hindsight and from a perspective of understanding spiritual warfare a little more than I did when I was walking the journey I am about to unfold for you.
Before we left on Outreach, as a school we prayed for each of the teams and prophesied over each other and encouraged each other. For the Kenya team our friends and staff who carried us through the the last 3 months consistently got impressions of the word “Unity” for our team. Now if you looked at our team you would laugh at this word as we could not be a more different bunch of people and in our differences many of us (including me) were strong willed and opinionated people. I was so happy when I heard this word because I thought the Lord was going to pleasantly surprise us by joining our hearts together and we would be one big happy family by the end of our outreach experience.
Fortunately, one of the staff who prayed shared with us a similar word but she was given the wisdom to expand on this word. She told us that we would have to fight for this unity that we could not just expect our group to be united. And although I heard this I had no idea what this was going to look like in reality.
Three or four weeks into our outreach i was soon about to find out. In our second location. As I mention in my previous post about this location – we thought we found a tiny piece of heaven. Some members of my team rejoiced over the “peace” that they felt there and the love. But my immediate thought in response to this is maybe what they felt was peace was mainly influenced by the luxury that awaited us only a short walk across the compound in the guest house where our hosts resided.
I was offended by the luxury. Don’t get me wrong, my first stance was appreciation but it didn’t take long for me to move from a place of gratitude to a place of offence. An emotion that was unnecessary and rooted in judgement and one that I am still on a journey of working through. This for me was NOT “Outreach” whatever that meant.
From here things steadily began to get worse. As the title implies my team was divided. Some people loved this place their little slice of heaven and others of we struggled. We struggled with our hosts and with our team and it was hard. I didn’t know how to handle this. I was confused. so much was like chalk and cheese, light and darkness, black and white. The divisions were so clear. And from this place we did ministry. This for me was so sad because a lot of this came from relying on our own strength.
I felt like God wanted to work in our team as individuals but what could we do about the division.
With time an prayer I understand that I should have prayed. This was a battle one I was losing because my team was not united. There would be glimpses of togetherness but something would happen and the cords that were being joined would be severed again. At the same time, I believe that this time although difficult and tinged with elements of spiritual warfare that we failed to engage in as a team. It also showed the faithfulness of God. For those who benefited from this location God provided he blessed them with a home away from home and a place of comfort in a difficult first experience of overseas ministry or whatever the circumstance may have been.
Who am I to diminish the work of God in my team members lives? I have no right to that and because my experiences were not theirs I cannot say that it was not God. During our Debrief I was able to summarise my experience in this way: I don’t personally understand how some people in our team could gain anything from our experiences at this location, but God knew the needs that they had and he provided for them.
I am still confused by this experience and don’t understand how a team could be so divided in the same place having what appeared to be the same experience but I believe that God will give me peace in my heart.
Please share any thoughts you may have with me because as I am sure you have read I am still processing this.