We were so late.
Grabbing the boxes of cookies for our first team meeting, Jamie and I hurried outside. Eleven DTS students had already gathered under the gazeebo in the back lawn. They were talking quietly, huddled in the sun trying to get warm. They looked up when we arrived, their faces expectant, excited...
That was the moment that it hit me.
I wasn't a student anymore. We were the leaders...
Five weeks ago when I was asked to staff this DTS, it was with the intention that I would co-lead one of the student outreach teams to Uganda. I prayed long and hard before I agreed, I prayed until I was sure of God's leading. Outreach isn't a cakewalk, and Africa isn't a place to go on a whim. So my prayer to God was short, clear, and to the point:
"God, if you want me to go, break my heart again for this place..."
The next day my old DTS outreach leader visited YWAM Salem. She had been living in Uganda for the past year, and had just returned stateside. She began to tell me story after story of the people that we both knew--and the stories ripped through my heart! Children that I had played with in the dust of South Sudan were being forced to pick up AK-47s and fight for their lives, haunted with nightmares of the past, the people are enslaved in their own witchcraft... they need the love of Jesus above all else!
As I cried myself to sleep that night, I felt the all too familiar familiar fire ignite in my heart, and I knew that I had may answer. I was going to Uganda!
Fastforward again to the eleven students now eating cookies under the gazeebo. I had gotten over my initial shock of being an outreach team leader as each student began to open up their lives and tell their stories... it blew me away how each and every one of us had come from completely different lives and backgrounds, and God has used radically different meathods to get us all to One Place. One place geographically (Salem, Oregon) and one place spiritually (not just ready but desperate to hear everything that God wants to speak to us).
The Africa team. So many stories, talents, passions, and personalities.
The world might call us ragtag, but I know that we're chosen. For this place, for this time.