Thursday, July 1, 2010

assumptions

On August 2nd, Nativity is sending another "Nativity:Nigeria" mission team to Africa.  Back in 2006, a small group of four made the trip to Jos and Abuja to meet Dr. Chris Isichei and Sr. Oresoa with whom we were hoping to form a partnership.  Over the years, this relationship has grown and in a few weeks we're sending our fourth team to serve in Nigeria.  This year, due to the civil unrest in Jos, where Dr. Chris is located at the Faith Alive Hospital, we're sending only one team of six (that includes me!) to the Anawim Home Orphanage outside of Abuja.

At first, we viewed this as a small setback.  First off, fewer spots were available on the trip since Sr. Oresoa only has capacity for so many visitors, and the experience that the Faith Alive team has with Dr. Chris' work with AIDS patients is incredibly eye opening and convicting.  However, as this year's team has grown together in preparation, I'm starting to realize how much good has come as a result of taking a smaller group.  Mainly, in large part to the feedback we got from last year's missionaries, we've experimented more with different team building exercises in preparation for the two-week experience.

At the meeting last night, we did an exercise that was designed to help the six of us address some of our expectations and assumptions about different aspects of the trip.  We were given some time to write any thoughts that came to mind under seven different categories, some broad (Nigerians) and some specific (children at Anawim Home).  It was interesting to see how much conversation flowed from looking at all of our assumptions.  Many we shared in common, some were original, and a few were contradictory.  Unfortunately the conversation was stopped short since we ran over on time, but it was really helpful to just put these things out in the open.  It's encouraging to know that you're not alone in your own thoughts, it's challenging to realize that your thoughts could be wrong, and it's helpful to allay the power that our assumptions hold over us.

After all, you know what they say about assumptions...

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