This is my team.
They are family.
And this summer, under the banner of The Academy of Arts Summer Drama Teams, I had the privilege to travel south with them.
“A privilege?” Yes. A privilege. And please, let me expound.
I had the privilege to be a part of a team that was always joyful. Through the ups and the downs, they always contained a certain joy that could not, and can not, be explained by anything but the Gospel. And not only did they have a certain joy, but they shared a certain joy. It was mutual throughout, and it brought us together as a team in so many ways. It was indescribable, just as so many other things involving God are indescribable.
I had the privilege to be a part of a team that always cared. When a team member was feeling down or discouraged, they always asked, “How are you?”, “Is anything wrong?”, “Can I pray for you about anything”, or sometimes.. a simple, “Good morning!” was enough to imply all the cares that could be said. It was uplifting in such a way that even when they didn’t think they were being an encouragement, they were still an encouragement.
I had the privilege to be a part of a team that was creative. They decided to make a giant welcoming poster for a late-coming team member. They decided to play soccer on the sea shore with the team names, “Mongolia” and, “Zambia” (due to the fact that we had a team member from Mongolia and a team member from Zambia). They strapped a large fan to the ceiling of our van to make up for the absence of air conditioning. They moved our back row van seats back three feet into the trunk space to make more room to be sprawled out over, on our 7 hour drives (genius.. truly genius). They managed to pull off some legit performances with very small stage space while making all their movements look purposeful (it was really a matter of being stuck in a certain place on stage and standing there as if that’s how it was supposed to be). And they decided to share testimonies beside a waterfall (shout out to our team leaders’ creativity; very nice).
I had the privilege to be a part of a team that grew spiritually. Although it wasn’t necessarily until the final testimonies that the grand scheme of things was revealed and explained, my mind was blown by where my teammates were, to how far they have come now. Lives were truly changed, and I am unspeakably grateful that the Lord allowed me a front row seat to watch His mighty works among my teammates.
But most importantly, I had the privilege to be a part of a team that traveled from Church to Church with a drama called, “O Wondrous Love.” The play contrasted what the world views as love, and what God views as love. It took on the huge attack from the world that says, “Christians?! How can they say that their God is love if they’re not love? How can they say they their God freely gave if they’re not freely giving? Why would we want to hear what they have to say if their talk is different from their walk? If they would give us visible evidence, and then would hear them out.” The drama explained that true Christianity reveals Christ’s love and joy. It included incredible stories of men and women who have gone before us and freely given up everything, expecting nothing in return; stories that included laying down one’s life when escape is in the palm of his or her hand.
That is love. Making the conscious choice to put another before one’s self. “Love suffereth long and is kind. Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked. Love rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things.”
“Love!.. never fails.”
And it is my privilege to say,
My team was always there for me when I needed them the most. My team was always encouraging when I needed the encouragement the most. My team was always caring when it felt like I didn’t deserve the care. My team was always supportive when it felt like I didn’t deserve the support. And in retrospect, God used them in my life in ways that I could have never imagined.
This summer, God composed a masterpiece. And to be a part of a team that was instrumental in such a masterpiece..
Well.. that, my friend, is a privilege.