Friday, July 19, 2013

What Off-Roading Can Teach You

There we were, sitting in the desert as the sun beat upon us from high in the sky. We gazed over at the massive puddle the heavy rain from the night before had brought. It was so heavy that it was called a 'once in a 5 year' rain. It had washed away many of the "roads" in Bisti. The roads are not as you would imagine. Rather than paved roads, we traveled upon dirt trails, sometimes only big enough for one vehicle. The reservation is known for its windy, bumpy, and most definitely adventurous, dirt roads. Our attempt to avoid the deep puddle was successful, but getting back onto the dirt path did not turn out as well. We had taken our only other option: off-roading. Although it had started out as a fun and bumpy ride, it soon ended in our Ford Escape stuck deep in the thick mud with a back tire up in the air. Oops! We quickly jumped out and attempted pushing the car, but we quickly found out that our man power was not going to get us out of our dilemma.

In fact, earlier that day we had found ourselves in another dilemma. Our team had been putting on a VBS and adult Bible study at a sweet little church called White Rock Baptist Church. 

It was located in another town on the res near Bisti. It was our second day and although the Bible study led by Rachel and I (Rachel squared as they say :)) was going well, VBS had presented the other team members with many obstacles. It seemed like the odds were against our team. The number of children had doubled since the day before, adding up to nearly 40 children. Although having more kids come was exciting, it was also difficult feeling like there wasn't enough of us to lead and help in certain areas. In addition, some kids didn't want to be there, they weren't having it, which was followed by a bit of disrespect and lack of participation. Despite not being a leader for the VBS, the stress and frustration other team members were feeling affected all of us. We were all discouraged. All we wanted was for them to enjoy this week, to have fun and learn more about Jesus. What could we possibly do to fix the situation? 

That was the same question we began asking ourselves as we viewed our only form of transportation stuck deep in the muddy road. 

It was then, sitting in the hot sun, waiting for our other friends from Bisti to rescue us, that it all came together.

No matter how hard we pushed the car, all we were doing was digging it deeper into the mud. It was the same with the kids at VBS, no matter how hard my team tried to have them cooperate, we were only digging ourselves deeper. 

What we needed was God's help. We had been searching in ourselves for the answer, for the perfect solution. Our Ford didn't get stuck for no reason. It was God saying "Hello! I am the answer! You need ME!" We quickly realized that it was God who would change the hearts of the children, not any of us. 

It was something I needed to hear too. Co-leading an adult Bible study for the first time, in a new place with new people, was intimidating. I kept wondering how I would seem well organized and prepared. What if I didn't know what to say? How would I handle those foreseen awkward moments? What if I didn't have the answer? I found myself seeking to find the answer within myself rather than God. Instead of trying to go in all put together, I realized that God is the only one who can truly work through the Bible study and people there.  Letting go of the control I had, (as if I had any), allowed God to use me in better ways than I could have on my own. 

Thankfully Rachel had experience and I was able to learn so much from her. I am also thankful to say that the awkward moments were few and the meaningful moments were plentiful.

Eventually, an hour and a half later, we were rescued by some friends from Roger Deal Memorial Baptist Church, which is where we had helped out the previous weekend. The EM Staff there served us a delicious dinner. 

That's not where it ended though. As we finished up dinner, I walked outside to feel rain sprinkling on my arms. Looking up, I saw a beautiful rainbow. God's presence was there with us and I was reminded of his faithfulness once again. 

Some photos from the past week (cuz everybody loves those!):

They were having a dance off! 

A yummy Navajo Taco! Included fried bread, beans+meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa and sour cream! NOM NOM!
My team at the Badlands :)
My team with the amazing Rhonda from Roger Deal Memorial Baptist Church
Can I get a holla for a sillhoutte!? 
Some of our awesome Bible study! I will miss them so much! <3 On the top right is Ethel and Nancy.  Bottom right is Esther, Rachel, and Mary. On the left is Bernice, Felix and me. :)

All of us on our last day! I love this little church.. And I will miss it!

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