JP 2018 Update - Day 15
Amidst being sick and having no cell service, I am doing my best to serve our Father. I am so grateful for your words of encouragement and texts! I wish I could receive them when they were originally sent. Mimi, my grandmother sent me a loving encouraging text yesterday, but I didn't receive it until today. If I get it the original day, most of the time I'll get 3 or 4 of the texts. Needless to say, it is frustrating trying to communicate with the outside world.
I was talking to Josh today about clients. When we were doing client calls in Winchester, I got possessive over the clients because a lot of them were ones I had last year. The students, staffers, and chaperones leave at the end of the week, but the Coordinator stays to make sure the following week has a smooth take off. Part of the reason I was controlling over the clients is because I know them. I know their stories. I know their heartaches. I know their pets, their kids, their losses. I have heard their story. I have a connection. Coming back a year later to further that relationship means the world to me. Telling Josh all of this launched me into a completely different topic.
Being the Project Coordinator means you see the beginning of the project, the middle, and the end when we finish the wheelchair ramp. Seeing the expression on the homeowner's face when I come in for my initial visit is nothing compared to the joy and gratefulness of their smile when I return for my follow up visit. I see the back end of Jeremiah Project. I am the "Great and Powerful Oz", pulling all of the strings to make sure the week is great for everyone involved. Every day is going to be completely different than the next. Sunday I woke up at 4:30am, took a shower, got ready and went shopping all day. Monday I woke up at 7am, went to an initial visit, helped a lost team get to their site, and went shopping again. Today I woke up at 7am, took a team to a site, touched base with our Camp director and Cook, then went to set up new client calls for the coming week. That is only during the week! Friday through Sunday I am working primarily with the outgoing and incoming staffers, making sure the transition is smooth. I go shopping for the kitchen staff, making sure they have all the food for the campers. All of this comes at a sacrifice of 7 weeks of my life. I eat, sleep, breathe JP. Last night I actually had a dream about buying a tie dye kit because I need to get one on Wednesday while I am in Winchester... My family, my church, my friends, my needs, my priorities are all put on hold. While this is nothing like what Christ went through, this is the closest thing I have experienced to complete servitude. The Jeremiah Project Experience is possible because God brought me to serve in this way. I love to serve and this was the most in depth and extreme mission experience I have had. The JP experience for the Coordinator is totally different than anyone else who has a role and takes part.
When I came back from JP last year, I struggled to find my role in everyday life again. God used 6 weeks to totally change me in a way I could never have expected. But it was extremely exhausting. The only reason I had the energy I did was God's provision. I trusted the only way I could get through the hard work and long hours was if the one who made me gave me that energy. This summer has already had it's fair share of difficulties, trusting that there is an ultimate plan for me and I will be glorifying God is what gives me the "fuel" to keep going.
By now you most likely think I am being prideful in my writing, yes and no. I take pride in my work because I am working my hardest. At the same time, I want to write authentically. This a small description of how rigorous this job is; I'm not sitting around eating chocolates all day.
Whew! This definitely turned into a longer post than I was expecting.
The last thing I will share with you is one with my friend T. Bryson Smith. He is our Program Director this week and is an all around character! I had the chance to sit and talk with him today about a little mission he has been doing called Follow the Belt. I told him about some of the work that I was doing with my blog and showed him, and he shared what Follow the Belt is. He has this huge WWE belt that his friends bought him and now uses it as a tool to make connections with people. Then he shares the picture and their story.
Building connections and relationships is one of the main reasons I feel God led me to start this blog. Everyone has interactions with various aspects of their life. This is why I love being the Coordinator of JP because I get to build relationships with each client, leader, and staffer. I agree the campers should be important, but the way clients are taken care of is the entire point of the mission trip. I thought I would pass on Bryson's story and encourage you to make a new connection with the rest of your evening. Check in with a friend you haven't talked to in a while, make a new friend, whatever you feel comfortable with.
As always, thank you for your love, support, and prayers!
P.S. You can follow Bryson and his connections on Instagram and Facebook, look up followthebelt