Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Today was another day I wouldn’t have planned for a mission, but one where God spins for good what the devil tries to undermine. Bogota is a city with an elevation of ~ 8600 ft above sea level. Living in Houston, which hovers near sea level, I always struggle with migraines when I travel to high altitude cities like Denver and Bogota. This trip was no exception and even more so than usual. I was popping migraine medicine every 15 – 20 hours to manage the pain.
The alarm today was set for 5:15 AM, because the team had to eat breakfast, share a devotional, and get to CDA Cazuca School by 8 AM for medical outreach, purity talks, family strengthening, and workshops that Darin and I were scheduled to lead with Brigitta as translator. Parents were attending to learn about parenting leadership and strategies. We would follow this session with a general leadership workshop for parents, school staff, and community. I cannot tell you how excited I was to deliver the information I worked so hard to prepare (slides and pamphlets). And, Brigitta had translated all of it into Spanish, so she was intimately engaged with the content.
At 4:15 AM, I suddenly awoke with a massive migraine, which had me running to the toilet to throw up. My legs were shaking uncontrollably, and I didn’t know how that was or was not related to the migraine. I immediately took my medicine and knew it would be hours before it would take effect. I woke Darin and asked him what we were going to do. I couldn’t walk out of the hotel room. I could barely stand without vomiting. Would we have to cancel the workshops today?
My initial thought was Darin wasn’t prepared, because he hadn’t been involved in the prep. Although he’d heard the concepts before, I assumed he wouldn’t be comfortable teaching. Darin’s reply was, “Either you’re coming with me or not? Either way, the show will go on!” I trusted him and Brigitta to carry on.
I laid in bed for hours wondering how the dynamic duo was doing. Later in the morning, Darin texted me photos of the crowd and said all was well, very well. I exhaled a big sigh of relief and felt feelings of worry leave my body! I used my quiet time to pray. God boldly gave me a message:
Leaders don’t do everything. They do what they can and ask others to do what they are called to do.
Oh boy, a statement right out of the leadership presentation I created. God was throwing my own words in my face. It’s true! I have to fight the tendency to do too much or lead too often. Darin and Brigitta made a great team to deliver the messages the parents, staff, and community came to hear. God made good use of my illness by sending a message I needed to hear—and hear strongly.
Before returning to the hotel, the team traveled to Monserrate—the highest point in Bogota and home to a church dedicated as a shrine. They saw the sun set over the city while singing praise and worship. I joined the team for dinner and informed Darin he was leading the next day’s presentation. I was going to follow as he and Brigitta had already created the formula for success.
Two key messages for the day:
- It’s true that leaders don’t do everything. They do what they can and ask others to do what they are called to do.
- I should take my own advice more often.