– Billie (AKA Sarah) being able to share with the highs school students from the word of God on three different occasions, teach at the women’s conference in Loa, and seeing her connect with the local female staff in the compound. She did an outstanding job on this trip. Joyful as always and steady as the day is long. THING I LEARNED ABOUT SARAH: She always sings … I mean she never stops singing … ever. Good thing she has a pretty voice.
– Tawn Tawn (AKA Tawni) really dug deep through multiple tropical diseases, and fought through how the enemy uses those things to discourage and frustrate believers God wants to use. Tawni is a very gifted teacher, so I was especially blessed that she was able to encourage the women at the Loa Women’s Conference. These women are very dear to my heart (just as much as the chaplains), and this was the primary reason why I wanted Tawni on this trip .. I am so blessed to see the Lord use Tawn Tawn. THING I LEARNED ABOUT TAWNI: She has a tatoo … five actually.
– Justin (AKA Dust-fin, AKA Butter Buns, AKA “The Cow-Whisperer”, AKA “El Montador”, AKA “Dustin”) was a a tremendous blessing. I know of no person more willing to serve than Justin Snooks. He encouraged everyone with his positive attitude, willingness, and timely humor. Dustin helped out with the self-defense training quite a lot, and never slowed down … even with malaria! Dustin filled our days with many “Dustin-isms” … on having malaria… “Dude, I just thought I was homesick”. THING I LEARNED ABOUT DUSTIN: He has the amazing ability to sneak up on cows (video to follow)
– Mike (AKA Sunshine, AKA Beautimus Maximus, AKA “The Travel Gnome”, AKA Abuelito, AKA Viejo, AKA “The Chief”) was a major help to me in leading this trip. He is an amazing servant (as usual) and is very well liked by the chaplains and staff in South Sudan. Mike did a great job with training the chaplains and really connected with them personally … often encouraging our team to hangout with the men when we had down time. THING I LEARNED ABOUT MIKE: He snores waaaaaay louder than you could imagine and talks in his sleep … a lot.
– Matt (AKA “The Groove-master”) Matt really blessed us by leading worship often. It was really encouraging to the staff in Nimule to hear live worship music. He was a great help in training the guys both in self-defense and in physical training. It really helps to keep a team on track when someone understands appropriateness. Matt was a great blessing to me personally, he’s a willing servant and understands leadership very well. THING I LEARNED ABOUT MATT: He really doesn’t have ANY rhythm at all … you think he’s joking, but he’s not …he dances so bad that you think faking… he’s not.
– Adolfo (he doesn’t like my nickname for him) was hit hard with typhoid and an amoeba (he didn’t get malaria as previously reported), but he didn’t let it hold him back. He developed a great connection with the chaplains and they appreciated him greatly. We ended up cooking a breakfast for all the ladies (we gave them the morning off) in the compound and Adolfo took the lead … he is a great cook and organized all the guys quickly and efficiently. The ladies were greatly blessed. THING I LEARNED ABOUT ADOLFO: If he doesn’t want to be moved, he will not be moved … the guy is solid … like a tree trunk.
– Eric (Never gave him a nickname… though he was called “Chris” often) really “fit” in Africa. In addition to training the guys and give timely insights to me, Eric is simply available. I think the greatest attribute that we can have in serving the Lord is “availability”. Availability doesn’t just mean to be there… it means being prepared for anything when you’re there… that’s Eric. I am looking forward greatly to seeing how the Lord will use Eric in missions through CMV. THING I LEARNED ABOUT ERIC: He doesn’t talk if he doesn’t have something to say, and he doesn’t complain if he has a reason to. He might just smile and shrug if he reads this post.
– Leo (he has the single name moniker like Madonna, Prince, Pele so he doesn’t need a nickname) lead the self-defense training and did an excellent job. Leo loves people and the guys know that he cares for them. We all washed the feet of the chaplains and prayed for them. The guys will especially remember that the man whose hands tossed them around for 7 weeks during their training also washed their feet and rested upon their shoulders as he prayed for them to be used by God. Leo is a great example of what we want these chaplains to be… “Worshiper/Warriors”. THING I LEARNED ABOUT LEO: He’s really just a big kid trapped inside a body that could crush you.
– As for me … baptizing the kids, teaching the chaplains, seeing them mature and graduate, washing their feet, working out with the chaplains, running with the chaplains, singing witht chaplains, making breakfast for the ladies, making new friends in ministry, talking with Mo and Jose (MOJO), hanging out at the Rackleys and Gonzales compound, teaching this past Sunday at Maranatha Chapel in Pageri, watching the ladies (Billie and Tawn Tawn adjust to being a part of “guy talk”), and watching Dustin try to ride a cow … there are so many thoughts going through my mind… so many highlights, so many memories… like Billie said, “it’s like have a full treasure box… it takes time to go through it.” … Shakala shakala kwes (fight the good fight) …
Till the whole world hears!