It was really good to see everyone and share a meal. Potluck supper with food abounding!! At least ONE greek salad....
We talked about the transition time after returning home. All of us had some initial adjustments. it felt good to talk about that and no we were not alone in experiencing those down days.
We each shared a brief 'take away' from the trip; something that really impressed or affected us, a special memory or impression, or a learning experience we had.
Some of the things that were mentioned were...
* humbled by how simply the people of Macedonia live, how happy they are even with so little.
* learned lessons in patience
* learned lessons in letting God work on some of my flaws
* discovered strengths previously unknown
* discovered God's strength in my places of weakness
* priorities & balance
* God's Grace is enough ...
after this time of sharing, Kate presented each of us with a small white tile. One side had a picture of a mosaic pattern glued on, the other side blank. with permanent markers she encouraged us to write something that would help us remember these little life lessons we'd just shared.
We also laughed plenty at some retelling of stories.... With members of the teams family there, it made the re-telling even more fun. Then we watched the two videos i had put together of the interviews with the team and the work compilation. also shared photos; power point and photo's.
we thanked Kate for her awesome leadership abilities, getting us to and fro, making sure our needs were met, that we were safe, well fed, and getting the sleep, prayers, support we needed. We had all chipped in for a gift certificate to the Chrysalis Spa, which I think she was very excited about.
Lastly we closed with a time of prayer, remembering the people we met in Strumica, for the ongoing work at the Sports Center, for Ryan and Jyl and their mission there. for provision, protection, productivity, perseverance, and for continued passion for the ministry God has called them to.
It was a wonderful evening, bittersweet in some ways because the closeness that is established while on such an adventure is very hard to maintain when you go back to your normal lives and those lives involve your own thing. But there was a great moment at the end of the night when we all agreed heartily that we'd love to do another mission trip together. wow, wouldn't that be something....
at the Ruins in Philppi
L_R: Si Halbert, Mike Wheatly, Audrey Johnson, Wendi Morrison, Kate Ryan, Robyn Burke, Bruce Burke, Don Goersinger