Remember those "trust falls" they used to have you do in school or leadership seminars? You fall backwards and have to trust that the people behind you are going to catch you and not let you break your neck. Well, more often than I'd like have I found myself standing on a table or at the edge of a stage putting my life into the hands of my peers or even worse- strangers. That's kind of what the past couple of weeks has felt like for me- one big trust fall. Let me explain...
One of my roles here at HBB is planning yearly trips to Zambia, where one of our main projects is located. This is both an exciting and challenging task. A major obstacle that you have to deal with is fear of finances. When you tell people they have to come up with $2500 and within a few months the "deer in headlights" looks begin to show up. Given the current economic situation we find ourselves in, those looks were even more intense with the planning of this year's trip. It didn't help that team members had to make a committment to a plane ticket that required full payment within 4 weeks (roughly $2000).
I'll be honest here- there were moments when I wanted to give in to that fear as well. The airline required a minimum of 10 passengers for the group rate, but I didn't know if that many would commit. I felt like I was juggling too many objects and at any point a slight slip of one and everything would come crashing down. Amazingly though, I still had peace. In the back of my mind I kept telling myself that it was out of my control and things would be alright. I found myself daily saying, "I trust you God. I trust you." During those moments where I didn't fully believe it, I still said it.
Lo and behold the time comes where I have to tell each team member that I need the committment in order to send in the deposit. To my surprise every single person stepped out in faith and said, "Yes, I'm going on this trip." Many of them didn't know where the money was going to come from or how they'd get in 4 weeks, but they stepped out anyway. I was so blessed and encouraged, especially when I discovered that I not only reached my minimum requirement, but exceeded it by 1 person. 11 people have heard the call to go and are responding.
That alone could have been encouragement enough for me, but it went a step further. You see, I had been begging the airline to give us an extension on our payment deadline and was met with heavy resistance. I sent in the deposit on Monday expecting that all 11 of us would need to make full payment in 4 weeks. The day after I sent in the deposit I got an email from the travel agency. The email contained a copy of our invoice and she told me to scroll down to the bottom and read what it said. There it was on the bottom of the email: Extension for final payment! June 21st.
I couldn't contain my joy and excitement over this tremendous news! We had been given 4 more weeks to come up with the funds for our plane tickets! My faith was so encouraged and I couldn't wait to share the good news with our team. Looking back, I can't help but laugh in the irony of it all. If we had been notified of the extension only 1 day prior it would have made for an easy decision for the team. Fears would have been lessened and certainly my stress level would have decreased. But, we wouldn't have learned anything from it. We wouldn't have learned what it looks like to step out in pure faith. We wouldn't have learned to listen for God's still small voice telling us to go.
I'm so incredibly blessed and encouraged by the team God has put together for this year and I know that amazing things are going to happen as a result of their faith. So even though it took some coaxing to get me on that table and I probably looked over my shoulder one too many times, I always knew that I'd be caught safely. The joy that comes from falling in the arms of your savior makes it all worth it.