Monday, March 1, 2010
Tony's Entry Step 2 - The first battles of the war
I am now fully committed to going to Africa as Tim and Chrissy have bought the plane tickets and the team is in place! I have begun getting shots, my passport, etc...I am excited, yet now the reality of it all is hitting me. Over the last 6 months as I prayed, thought and wrestled with the decision to go, my main apprehension has been the Camp Daniel Team and all the needed prep time for putting on four weeks of summer camp and hosting well over 500 people during those weeks. I know I have set myself up for a grueling summer... We head to Minnesota to work at a camp for people for disabilities for a week at the end of May. I fly to Chicago from there to go to a 3 day family wedding and two days after that leave for Kenya. Ten days after getting home we start of 4 weeks of camp interrupted by a week of hosting a missions group of 30 coming from Chicago to stay and work here on the grounds with us. it will be a hard 9 week run to say the least. It has forced me already,to change, to get organized and get well ahead of things I usually do not!
Since I have known Tim, we have talked often of the reality of how we find ourselves attacked as we work where God is working. We both have faced the reality of ministry, and the obstacles that come in stepping out in faith. I have extreme faith in his leadership, as God's hand is on him and he is battle scarred because of it! Please pray for him as the one marching in the front bears the brunt of the attack.
I know that the devil will attack our ministry and the Camp Daniel Team, to try and interrupt this time of growth God has for us. In fact, it really began hitting us six months ago as I even began praying about going. Our Camp Daniel team has encountered hard issues, we have struggled, and been stretched. I have faced things as a leader I did not think I could get through. Yet,one thing I have learned through 15 years of ministry is that very often the harder the fight, the bigger the blessing, the more we encounter road blocks, the greater our growth will be on the other side.
As Tim and Mike took us through our Kenya Team Meeting yesterday, God confirmed in my heart that He is working and that I am on the right path. They spoke about the battle we will encounter, the obstacles that will come. Scott wrote a devotional that was handed out on the armor of God, for our preparation for this battle. I began reading it last night and finished this morning. It struck me how, really, the trip has already begun for us, as the battle has started, going on the trip is just part of this campaign.
At this moment I am torn, as my flesh does not want to face the fight at hand. The bad voice inside says, " It would surely have been easier for everyone if you had not have decided to do this!" But my heart says "bring it on" So I will follow what I know is right in my heart, growing closer to God, depending more on Him, and lifting the cross he has given a little higher, so I can follow Him.
So as you read this I ask for your prayer for our team, but most importantly for Tim, Chrissy, and Mike as they lead us in this battle. There are over 20 people right now who have jumped out of the foxhole and are charging the enemy behind them, many of them young, and taking a step onto the battle field for the first time. So if you see some battle worn soldiers in the halls of LHC, stop them, pray and offer encouragement, because we are in the midst of the war!