Monday, June 11, 2007

Up Up and Away

1:50 PM

Don't go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well, training camp has come to a close and we are all preparing to head out to our countries of ministry this afternoon. This week has been so tough, but so rewarding. There are 6 other amazing young women on my team (and I say young because I'm the oldest…freak out!): Rebecca, Autumn, Jessie, Julianna, Julie, and our fearless leader, Michelle. It is so obvious how God has crafted our team. We all bring such passion and strength to the table. It will be a privilege to minister with these girls this summer. There are 5 other teams going out today too: ..:South Africa, Swaziland, India, Peru, and Kenya. All 90 of us have been experiencing this training camp together. Let me give you an idea of what a typical day at training camp looks like…

Prayer meetings begin at 7am, which for some reason means all the girls in my cabin have to get up at 5:45am to get ready (I don't understand that one!). AIM built these sweet cabins that at least 30 girls can sleep in (and there's a smaller one for the boys further down), so needless to say, it's been a treat not to be camping, although sleeping on wooden planks is never comfortable! After prayer, we would have a seminar in which someone would impart wisdom or practical knowledge about our countries, or just how to experience God more. From there, we would learn DRIMES, which are dramas/mimes. They are all set to music to help with overcoming the language barrier. They have a really powerful messages ranging in everything from depression, to deception, to suicide. I got pretty into them and scratched up my leg kinda bad. Oh well. All the meals they prepared for us were just plain amazing and I forgot I was eating camp food! Our afternoons were either more drime practice or team builders. As much as I understand the point of team builders, I truly despise the activity itself. Thankfully, our team is pretty great and the activities were bearable. After dinner, we would have an evening service of worship and teaching. These teams were intense and moving. The Holy Spirit was all over this place. We'd end around 11:30pm and start all over again the next day. From Monday to Thursday, each team had to carry a large wooden cross. It was a team builder/ministry experience. It was heavy…. J Thursday afternoon we got to go into the community and do ministry in an interracial apartment complex. It was fun to do our drimes and songs in front of people and talk to the kids. Friday morning, we got to experience the No Hope Tent (an event I've been part of before). It's an intense experience that walks us through the hopeless lifestyle of the people we will encounter in our country. The experience really brought our team together and pushed us to trust each other more. Friday night, we had a commissioning service. The AIM leadership commissioned our leaders and our leaders turned around and commissioned us. It was a very cool experience.

As we prepare to leave today, we are excited to get there and begin our ministry this summer. Our flight leaves Atlanta at 5:30pm and we arrive in New Zealand at 5:00am Monday ( New Zealand time!). Please keep us in prayer as we travel. Also, pray for unity on our team. And lastly, pray for the hearts of the New Zealanders we will meet. Thanks!

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!