Saturday, June 27, 2015

Post-Trip Reflections, Part 1 (Sam)


Hello from the wonderful world of CI!

Well, the trip is over, but for the team, the adventure has only really just begun! Looking back at these past weeks, I am so grateful to see how God has worked in both the lives of the children that we had the privilege to work with, as well as ourselves as a team. 

We experienced great times of fellowship, coupled with everyday struggles and growing pains. But we did our best learned from each situation we encountered, and grown despite the trial. Throughout the trip, we all shared in group devotions and the small group discussions afterwards. These were great times for honesty and growth. I think each of us came away with a different perspective of God's word. 

For me, I realized a bit more about just what it looks like to love God with All our heart, soul, mind and strength, and some of the differences between them. How, in reality, All our love must go to God alone, and then it's through His power that we can love others with the love that he gives back to us. Also, the fact that when Jesus calls us to himself, he asks us to count the cost of discipleship. We must take up our cross. It sounds so cliché, but in reality, it should be totally life changing. I must live as a slave to God. Nothing I have is my own, including the rights to say what I want, watch what I want, listen to what I want, wear what I want, and do what I want. It's all about what He wants. I discovered this through another topic we discussed as a group, and that was the power of questioning motivation.

I've learned that it's so important to ask "why?" Why am I doing this? What are the reasons for this decision? Is it to look good, or to please God? The actions can look identical, but the motives are extreme opposites. And it's all about the motive. 

As we all return home, it's my desire and prayer that we will take what we've been shown through God's word, and apply it to our everyday lives. And not only that, but that we would be able to "teach others also" through starting up intentional discipleship small groups. It's our goal to live with an intense intentionality, knowing that life is short, and we must spend it wisely. 

Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement!

Sam Oliviero
Staff Member
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