This was actually the last meeting (probably) of the Virginia Conference United Methodist Young Adult Brazil Mission Trip Team (or some title such as that - Methodists like long titles. And acronyms) before they depart on July 21 for two weeks in mission in Brazil. Carl is on the team (you know Carl...he was the one whose dear departed truck Jenny was recently replaced by Suzie...but I digress).
So - this is how I was a spectator to the emerging partnership: the 6 young people are from various spots in Virginia - and Lynchburg was playing host to the meeting tonight. The great Ida Powell - ruler of kitchen and all things home economic - was kind enough to pull a small team together to serve the young folks a nice dinner. She and my mom prepared a lovely summer supper of canteloupe, tuna salad on tomato wedges, a broccoli/cauliflower salad and a delightful potato salad made with PURPLE potatoes!! Fancy stuff. And Ida made some lovely carrot curls holding carrot sticks. And deviled eggs. And...green angel food cake.
Apparently Brazil's flag involves green, blue and yellow. The centerpiece even reflected that. Ida is cool.
Carl kept saying he just wanted something simple. But, you know something? Ida Powell was exactly right. This was an event worthy of special treatment. This was the beginning of something great.
I saw 6 young people energetically planning their trip. One week they working with the Shade and Fresh Water project of the United Methodist Church. They'll be spending time in outreach programs including Vacation Bible School, working with about 50 kids each afternoon. And the team is excited!
To experience the process of seeing a team meld together is awesome. To have people pulling together for a common goal. To catch the next person's enthusiasm and to have another person catch yours... If you haven't seen that (or better yet, been a part of it) - I believe you're missing out.
Tonight there was talk about things like cotton balls (for sheep) and supplies for games - how much things would weigh (thank you airlines...) or cost (Methodists are a generally frugal people) or what might be available in Curitaba. And a lot of logistical stuff like passports and visas. But I had a spectator's view. I was there to pour water and serve dinner - and I was supposed to be unobtrusive. And they were very appreciative of our efforts (seriously...carrot curls!).
The unique perspective that I got though - was because I had to leave for choir practice. When I left, the team was being served a dessert of GREEN angel food cake with BLUEberries and YELLOW pineapple sauce. (Nobody has the style and panache of Ida Powell)
When I stopped by about 90 minutes later...there were 6 people in the midst of planning. Their glasses were empty and forgotten - Ida said they had been "talking a blue streak" for an hour. I could see the energy and passion. This is going to be an awesome experience for them. I got to take the team's picture...I look forward to seeing them together again at the end of their journey. To see a group of people willingly put themselves aside for others is refreshing. To see it begin with such camaraderie and comfort is inspiring. To get to see it gel in people with such joy and faith...priceless