There are two reasons I love my job: encouraging people to pursue missions, and seeing them take that huge step of faith and actually do it. If I couldn't be a part of our Candidate Orientation Program I would not do this job. Seriously. But this, these two weeks when the candidates come together and share their life, stories, ministry, passion, and aspirations - this is it. I love it. Last night we went to dinner with ten of the candidates and LOVED it. The group ended up being divided into two tables; somehow it happened that team Italy IV was at one table with everyone else at the other. I sat surrounded by my future teammates for the first time. We talked easily, and laughed often. I am excited to grow with these people over the next two years. Our team has formed easily, as if God's putting the pieces of the puzzle together Himself. As a team, we're still waiting for the 'team leader couple' piece of the puzzle. But, we know that God will provide His chosen couple in His timing. For now, I'm just excited that they're here! And more than the Italy team, all the candidates have amazing stories to tell. their hearts for the lost are exploding with excitement to dive into this missionary life head first. I remember feeling that excitement for deputation six months ago. The excitement is contagious. Hopefully, Josh and I will be re-energized by having them all here.
I am a part of the puzzle that helps these people get to the field. God is using me, in this small way, to prepare them. I may not have a significant role, but the every piece of the puzzle is needed. I'm here to minister to them, to encourage them, to answer and question and dissuade doubt. I love having these new missionaries around. They're in Kansas City for two weeks, I'm going to soak in every minute.