I consider myself a "quick learner" but alas I am a quicker "forgeter"! This trip was not to be one of "doing" our projects but more a relationship builder. It is quickly approaching Tet, the Lunar New year. The best I can compare it to those of us from the Western Culture is imagine if you can, taking New Years eve, Christmas, 4th of July and your birthday all wrapped in one!
The trip is scheduled around meetings with Govt. officials, police, and our govt partners. Thanking them for they're for continued partnership, wishing them a New Year and good health. I also "get" to go the homes taking baskets of goodies to each.
Honestly it is a good time, but I sorta dread the hours on vans and planes! I was not looking forward to it. It is the "work" of leading GIBTK. This morning floored me. Our first stop brought my emotions to all time high. I got to remember why I do this. I doubt if anyone could feel more of an outpouring of love then was showered on me.
We pulled into the campus of Carmela's Home, Hals and the lighthouse and the location of Dorothea Project legacy. The kids swarmed me, Loving and hugging on my neck. The kids gathered around, each waiting for their hugs. Many insisting on posing with me to take selfies. (Ok I took a couple myself LOL) Even as I type I feel tears begin to build.
I could not type this without sharing with all of you that this love goes out to all of you. Thus past year I have seen how much GIBTK is made up of all of you. The kind notes of encouragement many write, the prayers and yes the financial support given so generously.
Another high point was meeting Hien. She was a recent recipient of a wheelchair (Thank you Free Wheelchair Mission) When the GIBTK team met her she expressed a desire for learning Computer skills and being able to work in I.T. What was so special is the house mom from Hals offered to let her room with her while getting her education! Yes share her room and help take care of needs she may have. Like the house mom does not have enough just taking a care of the young men at Hal's home!
One thing that caught my attention was seeing one of the newer young men at the helm of her chair making sure she was not left out because of simple things like stairs... (note to self, we need to build some ramps!) The thing about this young man was that he was not prompted or asked he just stepped in!
Amazing stuff, maybe not at first thought but this culture, for the males, that is not their job. But for our young men's home it has become the culture, to serve! What a concept.
The afternoon was spent having "one on ones" with our team. Asking tough questions, about they're passion, they're jobs and how we can meet their needs. If they are being met or not. The few I spoke with today spoke with honesty and clarity. I learned much from them.
I see how much the GIBTK team has bought into these crazy ideas. Ones that teach they are valuable and what they think is important. Tam and the leadership team is doing such a great job. They have grown the vision and dream of GIBTK and own it! In the coming months there are teams coming from different parts of the U.S. and guess what? Robert doesn't need to be there. I am proud of the GIBTK team.
Amazing stuff to me. That our Father God can take a former pizza man who fished a lot and make something like this! Transforming not only lives but I truly believe a nation! More on this in another journal.
I can't help wonder what can He do if more would just say ok, I don't know how but I'll give it a go. I have ask... Is there something on your heart that just won't go away? Is there a bigger purpose in many of your lives? I venture to say yes, Why not give it a try?
For some we have a easy way to step up. We have opportunities for some who may be willing to write letters as part of our friendship program. Or the skype program which we connect one of you with a student to better their English prouncation. Both of these have "hidden" agenda. It is way to build into young people lives, showing by action that every kid's is valuable! A great way to mentor someone a world away!