As a team we’ve been together for 5 months now (Sharon leading us for the last two!). We spent the first 3 months in Canada getting to know each other a little and since then have been continuing to get to know each other on a deeper level as we navigate outreaches in India, Thailand and (starting tomorrow) Cambodia. We’ve started to discover how we each deal with certain situations – who quickly flees the room when there is a bee or a spider, who handles eating strange food, who picks up the new languages fastest, who is able to laugh in the uncertain times, who can make people feel instantly comfortable and who can navigate their way around strange cities.
It’s one of those strange mind games where it feels as though we’ve known each other for years, but at the same time feels like it couldn’t have been 5 whole months already. We’re continuously learning more about the way that we interact with each other and something that we’re constantly striving to do is learn to love each other unconditionally. That’s one thing that has been stressed to us on many occasions – love each other. No matter what we do, no matter who we meet, if we don’t have a love for those that God has put in our team then there’s no point!
From the start we have had much in common to draw us together, including a love for photography and travel, but we’re also four completely different people who have different experiences and opinions on things. We’ve had some disagreements about certain topics and long discussions if someone is feeling unheard in a certain area. We’ve been able to talk through a couple of tough topics when they come up and speak out tough love when it’s needed.
It’s encouraged me to see how each person on our team is growing and learning. I know I have been pushed to be vulnerable and more open about things that I’m finding tough, and in doing that I can receive the love and grace that the others have for me. I also know that it’s gotten past the point of first impressions and masking my imperfections, because by now they’ve seen some of my ugly and have chosen to continue loving and supporting me anyway. I’m thankful that they’re choosing to walk with me and help me grow rather than turn their backs on me when I get angry, speak out at the wrong time or lose my cool.
As we leave for Cambodia tomorrow morning, one of the big things that I am thankful for about our month in Thailand is the way that God has been working among our team!