(Written by Doug Sandy)
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
Today beachballs, sporting equipment, postcards, string, candy, costumes, and a variety of seemingly unrelated other objects occupy a lot of my thoughts. How much space does a deflated football take? What is the weight of five reams of paper? Which candies have the highest melting points yet remain delicious? Far from theoretical, answers to these questions all are an important part to planning our mission to the Czech Republic.
Some parts of preparation feel very familiar to me. We are to teach 32 hours of conversational English. This is equivalent to approximately ½ of a semester at college. There are lessons to review, activities to practice, and teaching strategies to devise. All of this must be done to be ready for class on day one. As a lecturer at Arizona State University, I am used to doing these things. They feel comfortable to me, safe.
Other things feel less familiar. The students we will be teaching live almost half the world away. They don’t speak English as a primary language and everything we need to teach them must be brought with us. How do we know what teaching styles and methods will work in a culture we have never really experienced? How do we connect with students with which we share only the most basic of vocabulary? God is taking me outside of my comfort zone.
Of course, the biggest thing that cannot be planned for at all is the spiritual readiness of those that God brings to camp. As we are prepping for English lessons, we recognize that our primary mission is to help make disciples in the Czech Republic. This might mean introducing the Gospel to our students, or it could mean encouraging other members of the collective mission team. We don’t know what this will look like, but God does. Our job will be to follow His plan as he reveals it to us step-by-step.
As we are getting ready to make disciples in the Czech Republic, I can’t help but marvel at the fact that God is taking this opportunity to disciple the Family Bible Church mission team. Whether it is being responsible for the preparations that we must make or learning to trust God with all the “unknowns”, I am certainly learning more clearly what it means to plan our course but let the Lord direct our steps.
- Wisdom for trip logistics
- Wisdom and diligence in preparing English lessons
- God prepares students who desire to learn about Him
- Health for the mission team