Last week KATW sent an Impact Team to Argentina for a playground build with a local partner  Su Refugio.  The ministry leader shared this update covering the volunteers on the team and our staff leader, Luis. It is an encouraging story regarding our actions and attitudes in all we do.

“But I do not account my life of any value or precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”  Acts 20:24 

“How many times have you spoken about your desire to “finish strong”?  What does it really mean?  Is it a framed poster hanging in our office at work to inspire us t work harder?  Is it referring to an accomplishment or our life coming to an end?   This week, God gave me another learning experience.  I have led maybe 40 to 50 short term mission teams, but I am always learning and God continues to show me something special.  This week HE was speaking to me about “finishing strong” and I am not referring to the “completion of something”.  I saw what finishing strong means this week.  It was modeled in front of my eyes.

Today, the team is finishing the playground.  Our playground build team leader is Luis Bando. He is a Chilean man who gave up his career as a professional windsurfer to “finish strong” serving the Lord. Throughout the week I have been observing from a distance most of the time. What I saw and learned was “finishing strong” has little to do about the way we are “ending”, but it has everything to do as what we are doing today.

This week I saw a leader who led by example, he modeled… not directed.  He motivated the team to press on.  He encouraged … even at times when there was a disappointment.  He planned the day’s task and focused on accomplishing that task.  He took time to love others around him … even when children and others would interrupt the work.  He praised others for the work being done.  He listened to others … instead of always directing to do it his preferred way.  And, he did everything with excellence.

Yesterday, the playground was essentially finished … it was functional.  But, last night Luis told our team “tomorrow, we will go out and make the playground beautiful”.  Today, the team will be covering the concrete foundations with soil and grass.  The yard will be raked and any scratches on the playground will be painted.  Luis has led this team to finish strong.  I thank God for his leadership and teaching me this week about the way to conduct the activity not just how to finish a project.  A huge thank you to this incredible team that has worked so hard and given this community so much more than a playground.  They have left their love for others with them.”

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  Hebrews 12:1

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