Teams Matter!

Teams Matter!

Teams Matter!

Sports Day in Kenya! It was the highlight of the term for me. After a day of intense competition under the scorching sun, my voice hoarse from cheering, and the end-of-term Bar-B-Q in sight, I finally found a moment to rest. Our team was a force to be reckoned with in team events, although my individual performances in races, jumps, and pole vaulting were yet to secure a victory. But the thrill of winning was undeniable!  Teams Matter! 

At times, I reviewed how Ray kicked that goal from left field playing soccer. Mike made dazzling runs, picking off an interception and scoring a try in rugby! And who could steal more dribbles than Tim playing basketball? Being part of a winning team with players like those felt so good. Each person had the right qualities to make a difference. Winning was so important!

Now, every day, I think about another kind of teamwork. God’s Kingdom comprises people who bring unique spiritual gifts and individual abilities to their work. And the Lord’s work keeps growing, silently and steadily, like a mustard seed becoming a thick-leaved tree, offering birds protection at night. Knowing how God uses people is one of the best things going! 

The Kingdom of God is the field over which we pray. (Play?!) This immerses us in a growing, dynamic, resilient, global, and rewarding series of relationships. For me, team members in mission work include people in multiple churches in Canada and the United States. Some supporters are individuals whom we will never meet this side of Glory. Others are church treasurers who send funds to our mission office. The funds are translated into countless actions that glorify the Lord. As churches gather, thousands of prayers go up, lifting the needs of missionaries before the Lord. These churches’ teams matter. They support missions. 

Staff members do the mission’s work, supporting missionaries in many nations. In turn, missionaries daily interact with the citizens of that country, proclaiming the Gospel and showing God’s love. In countless ways, they care for the poor, orphans, widows, and people in every segment of society.  Again, when it comes to doing God’s work, teams matter.

Imagine listening to a missionary recount their gospel work in Mexico! The Holy Spirit stirs something within us at that moment, forging a connection with those people. They live in challenging conditions, often overlooked or unheard of, facing language barriers, cultural differences, and sometimes even hostility. The impact of their work is profound, prompting us to reflect on our own lives and fortify our spiritual foundations with genuine compassion. Our prayers intensify, our hearts grow more generous, and our empathy deepens. Despite the distance, we feel a unique opportunity to extend our love and care to these strangers. What a powerful testament to the fact that Teams Matter!

This month, our LAM Newsletter takes us to several locations, discovering excellent teamwork in progress. John and Tracy Pieters explain how planting five churches in Mexico City involved teamwork.  Sue Vissers is a coach. Her work involves “member care,” and she takes us to Central America. Craig and Amanda Cunningham are moving from Bolivia to Ontario. Amanda will become part of the LAM Staff in Canada, and Craig is looking for a pastoral position. Joe Nesci tells his story of becoming a “team member,” often visiting Mexico. And finally, Julie Nobel tells us that no matter how difficult the circumstances are in Oruro, Bolivia, teamwork still gets things done!

   By David Phillips