Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
I had the opportunity recently to attend a week-long training on Disaster Relief in Germany. It was great to be part of a diverse group of approx. 30 persons to learn more about relief work. We were divided into smaller teams which allowed us to get to know our teammates better over the time.
It’s really hard to summarise the week as we covered so much in a short space of time. From the first evening until our last night, we were pretty much on the go. I very quickly realised that there was plenty to learn about this area of the humanitarian sector and the course provided a great overview of this, therefore preparing us for being able to serve in a relief environment.
Being thrown into uncertain, high pressure and new environments forces you to quickly adjust. Through the training, I certainly learnt more about myself as the scenarios triggered reactions and responses in me that became valuable lessons along with those being taught directly by our trainers.
Here are 3 personal lessons that I learnt and/or gained new perspective on
- My contribution matters– Each member of our team was important and played a key part in our success in the various scenarios we encountered. Each person was indispensable and whenever a team member was away on a different task, there was definitely a difference felt. I was part of a phenomenal team where we supported one another, learnt from each other’s experiences and executed tasks well so much so that we tied for first place in one of the challenges.
- It’s ok to not be ok– The course challenged me in every way (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) and I found myself learning that it’s ok to not be at the top of my game as I normally try to be in these types of situations. Forward progress however small is still progress. It helped massively of course that I had such great teammates, course mates and facilitators to support and encourage me.
- Willingness trumps skill– Seeing this literally play out as we faced different situations, I was reminded and challenged to prioritize willingness. In stepping out and being willing to assist, even if mistakes are made, there are opportunities to learn, to grow and to become better. Being flexible and humble enough to remove titles in order to help out in other capacities goes a long way especially in disaster relief scenarios.
I’m often asked to share a highlight or a favourite memory and there are several to choose from but to choose just one of my favourites, it would be an exercise we did where I had to completely trust my teammates to get me where we needed to go. Trust can often be a sticky area for me, however, it was surprisingly easier than expected to keep calm during the exercise knowing that my teammates would get me to the next point.
To wrap up this post, I want to share a football quote by Ps Tony Evans which fits well with my experience at the training.
You don’t go to a football game to watch a huddle, you go to see the difference the huddle makes. Tony Evans
We all gathered as participants from all over the globe in a huddle of sorts to receive training and I’m excited to see where God takes us all next and the difference we make in our respective regions.
The best is YET to come!
Interested in attending this training? Click here for more information on next year’s training.
Read about the UK leg of my travels here.
✞ Are You Really In?