I wasn't going to include myself in this but I've been reminded that if I'm going to do this to the crew that I'd better be willing too.
How many years have you gone to the Rez?
This will be my 5th year being a team coordinator. I first went to the Rez with a church in Indiana and have been a couple of times on my own without a crew.
What is the thing about it that has changed you and made you want to go back?
I grew up in a church in Indiana that was very mission-minded and then attended Anderson College which also offered mission trips several times a year. I finally got to go on my first mission trip back in the early 90's. Seeing how other people in other parts of the world live always changes you ... it breaks your heart and you are just never the same. It becomes harder to justify spending lots of money on yourself - not that there is anything wrong with that, but you learn that there is more joy in giving to someone else in need than in spending it on self.
I also have never been able to find a way around the passage of scripture in Matt. 25 where Jesus has some strong things to say about how we treat the poor. I take it that he meant exactly what he said and so I figure its a good idea for me to be involved in helping the poor. In doing that, I've learned that I have a lot to learn - they often have a better handle on spiritual matters than I do and I am usually the one that is "helped".
I also wanted for our church to become more mission minded and creating opportunities for people to experience a mission trip is the best way I know of to do that. I think it is vital to the health of the church to be reaching out to people who are different than us and who have been given less in this life than we have. That kind of experience makes us better people and makes the church a better church.
What is something specific people can pray for you about?
Pray that I will be obedient to Jesus and have a good attitude. I am not the best person for this job of organizing mission trips but I am willing to do it because I feel it is important and because I know its not about "me" being comfortable in the position I am in. Leading these trips challenges me in every area of weakness that I have and I don't always handle it well.