As a follow-up to the Partner Mission Summit 2009, each member of the team was asked to write a report of their experience.  I gave myself a week to process everything, to let things sort of simmer.  And after being removed from the situation and looking at things from a slightly different angle, I guess this is what I would say:

God always knows better than me.  Although this isn’t new information, I think it’s a truth that was perfectly illustrated by my involvement in this trip.  I admit it- I didn’t want to be a part of the PM team.  I wasn’t asked to pray about being involved.  I wasn’t asked my opinion at all.  Instead, I was told I would be a member of the team.  If I had been given a choice, I would have said no.  Never once did I feel a tugging to go.  Even in my prayer times, I never felt a definite call.  But I knew I had to be obedient, I had to submit.  So submit I did.  I wasn’t angry or bitter.  I was just apathetic.  So no one was more surprised than me to experience the intense camaraderie, fellowship and Christian love that were so abundant during this trip.  I was astounded by the passion that the teams had (have) for the Partnership.  It was so clear that everyone greatly valued the Partnership and wanted to come up with the best possible plans for its future.  Not only was it evident in the discussion times, you could hear it in their prayers and in the worship times.  You knew that these people were there because they loved God and cared so much for the GMIP.

I also was surprised by how great it felt to see some of the people from PM 2007.  I realized that I had missed these people, even without having felt that in the past 2 years.  It was strange to feel this way.  Can you feel homesickness for people?  That would be the best way to describe it.  Only I didn’t realize it until I saw them again.  It’s like going to a family reunion, and you’re the member who hasn’t really kept in touch with anyone.   But nobody says a word about that.  They’re all just really happy that you came.  And then you realize just how much you’ve missed your family.

So I guess what I’ve brought home with me is, first of all, a new passion for the GMIP.  I always felt the GMIP was important, that it was doing good things.  But I don’t think I felt a passion for it.  I have that now.  And secondly, a renewed determination to stay in touch with people.  Relationships are always hard work, but they’re even harder when they are with people overseas.  But they’re also really worth the hard work.100_1649100_1681100_1695100_1698100_1719100_1726100_1747100_1818100_1906100_1823100_1926100_1766