The value of team
A team is one of those things we sometimes wish we weren't a part of, but mostly are so thankful that we are!
You can't choose your team (for the most part) just like you can't choose your family. But your team becomes your family as you try and navigate life in a foreign culture and attend team functions together.
Before arriving in Central Asia my husband and I didn't understand the warning that the main reason people leave the field is because of problems within their team. Now that we have been here a while we can better understand the struggles of conflict and misunderstanding that can happen in a team.
You can arrive on the field ready and eager to learn the language and culture of your host nation, but may not be prepared to also learn the cultures (and sometimes languages) of all your teammates. You may arrive on the field prepared to spend time discipling and caring for the locals that you came to serve, but may not be prepared to also spend time discipling and caring for the people you are serving alongside.
Every now and then something happens to help me appreciate being part of a team...
It was the first morning my husband was away on an eight day trip for meetings. It's always stressful when he's gone – I'm on high alert imagining all the things that could go wrong while he's gone and the kids pick up on my stress and act up. We just don't function well with "daddy" away!
So there we were on the first morning. The kids were arguing and I was getting upset with them. I went to my room and slammed the door in frustration which caused the door mechanism to break and left me unable to open the door again. I was locked in my room with my kids on the outside and the school bus set to arrive any minute!
After a few minutes of crying and praying I got one of my kids to pass me my phone through the bars on my bedroom window so I could tell the bus not to wait for us. Then I called a teammate. He came straight over with his toolbox, got the door open and the kids got to school on time.
It was humbling! I was exhausted, but also extremely thankful for my teammate and to be part of a team.
Maybe our team doesn't always agree on everything and maybe we frustrate each other at times, but I know they will always be there when I need them.
And now I'm off to our weekly team meeting with a lot more joy and appreciation in my heart for the people God has given me to serve alongside. I also have a renewed determination that being part of a team and serving my teammates is one of the reasons that God called us to be here in the first place.