So much has happened this summer, and we would like to share some of its highlights with you!
It's been about a month and a half since our 5-day Orientation with ITeams. Life after Orientation has looked a lot like unpacking, job-searching, plugging back into Jacob's home church, cleaning and closing out our apartment, and many family outings. (We had moved out of our place in Mobile, AL and into Jacob's parents house near Huntsville, AL the weekend before Orientation - it was a crazy week.) It all has finally slowed down and we have settled into a new zip code, allowing us to finally find rest and focus on raising support. Woot! Woot!
We have had a lot of time to process how influential those five days with ITeams were, and we would like to share it with all of you!
We went into Orientation with the expectation that we would gain 5-days worth of info about ITeams policies, procedures, and their expectations of fundraising (all things we were NOT excited about missing a weeks worth of pay for). However, we quickly realized this week would be an encouragement and yet another confirmation of this journey we are on. And it was more than worth it.
Two things that stuck out most were: Shared Vision + Support.
Everything else I remember about the week fell under those two categories.
Shared Vision: The vision shared among Jesus, ITeams, our orientation group, and future partners was so evident. It encouraged us to know that there were others who would come alongside us, sharing a vision to see lives and communities transformed by the power of God. Learning how ITeams is rooted in Jesus, knowing that we aren't the only crazies who actually believe in the power of God, and knowing that there are others out there with the same vision gave us comfort. We also discovered that future partners share this vision, and want to contribute. Knowing this reminded us of God's provision and strengthened our spirits for our fundraising journey ahead.
Support: Throughout the week, we felt nothing but support through Jesus, ITeams, our orientation group, and future partners. Not only did Jesus bring us to this point, but He has and will continue to support and provide for the work he began in us (rings of Philippians 1). We are so thankful we were introduced to ITeams and the encouraging group of people who are beginning similar journeys. We were able to express our passions, fears, misunderstandings, and hopes and built each other up for the journey ahead.
The vision to see lives transformed, giving up our rights for the basic needs of others, humbling ourselves to work alongside others, is through eyes of Jesus. The mission to help the oppressed, meeting them where they are, is through the heart of Jesus.
Seeing how God has already been working through ITeams, seeing how He has led each of us to this point, has strengthened our faith and refined our confidence in where He is leading us.
We felt so encouraged, challenged, and understood as we walked into this journey. From the very beginning when it was just us checking out the ITeams website, to orientation where we all expressed our shared fears and shared passions for God and people, we met each other with the same look, and knew what the other was thinking: these are our people. Orientation was yet another confirmation of where God has been leading us.
In all grace and peace,
Jacob + Sarah