How do you measure your accomplishments? How do you measure success? Sometimes it’s easy to measure. Like getting an A in a class. Often it is super hard to measure, especially in mission land. That’s what I want to chat about today. That success isn’t always outwardly seen.
This was I think one of the key lessons from our recent short-term mission group. Three brave zealous young adults fund raised, added to their already busy summers and travelled all this way to build much needed homes for local missionaries in remote Hobotongo, where there is a school, church and clinic. One of the girls was our fake daughter who had served here the year before. Except now she was a two-month-old bride. The stress of leaving her new husband behind to survive nursing school on his own, was her biggest challenge. It was super fun to have her (Paige) here again, along with her sister Erica. Jordan came back, despite his last trip here ending in a medivac after toppling down the waterfall.
Andrew (visiting for 6 weeks), Jacob, and Darron went with these three to Hobotongo. Somehow their food box didn’t make it onto the plane. The toilet paper was in there. Along with the hand sanitizer. Essentials. Fortunately, it got dropped into a nearby village 2 days later.
If everything would have gone according to plan there would have been thousands of bricks already made and the team would have built homes and felt very accomplished. Darron had sent up an amazing brick machine that uses mostly clay and very little cement. Saving thousands of dollars. Yet plans often get undone in mission land. There were no bricks made when the team arrived. And the mud was to wet. And the screening had somehow not been shipped.
I am sure, by all appearances that it seemed a waste. That there were many frustrations at the lack. Yet honestly, if we could reveal all that has happened in the last six months: no bricks and wet mud and lack of supplies would make complete sense. So how do you measure success and accomplishments? One. Brick. At. A. Time.
Yes. This mission group made 24 bricks total. Only 6,000 are needed. Were houses built? No. Was the trip a success? Yes. Because it’s not about what got accomplished but what happened in our hearts. I don’t know what happened in each of our visiting young adult’s hearts. Hopefully, they were only spurred on more for missions. Sometimes the lack, equals more. Sometimes it’s what didn’t get accomplished that will accomplish more. That’s my prayer.
Today Andrew flew away. To return to where he needs to be. It was so fun having him here. All grown up. All able to send my mommy heart to pray as he ventured on motorcycle rides and doing triple back flips off ships in Jayapura and wakeboarding behind a truck on Black Sand Beach. Swelling my Mom heart in pride as he took off to film the devastation in near by Lombok from the recent earthquakes. Filling our home with laughter at his crazy sense of humor that delighted his younger brothers.
Darron also left today.
I’m not sure why they both needed to leave on the same day.
Darron is also going where he needs to go. Hobotongo. It’s time to make some more bricks. The right supplies should now be there. Thank you team GCC for inspiring this difficult project to get started. It wasn’t glamorous or measurably successful. Yet, it was. Sometimes success and accomplishments are measured differently. Especially in third world mission land. We will move forward. Even if it is, one brick at a time.
Photo credits to Erica, Jordan and Paige. 24 Bricks to their credit also! We love you guys!!! Thanks for coming to Papua.