Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bigger Than Me - December Newsletter

The Holiday Season is always busy for everyone, and while mine wasn't filled with the usual Yuletide it's getting me excited for what is coming.  Every year around Thanksgiving all of the World Venture missionaries in Cote d'Ivoire get together to connect, make decisions, and plan for the next year. During this week of meetings I was able to talk about why I am here and the stories that I hope to tell.  A lot of exciting stories have appeared about of these conversations and we now have 10 videos in pre-production.

After these meetings, I was invited to travel to Mali for the W.A.F.L. (West AFrica Field Leaders) meetings the first week of December.  There I met WV staff from all over West Africa.  During these meetings, I got to hear stories of what is happening in Mali, Guinea, and Senegal.  We've started to make plans for trips to each of these countries.  While the schedule is still not set it's going to be a very busy next couple of months.

Here's what we have planned so far:

Mid- January to Mid February: Cote d'Ivoire
Mid-February - March: Mali
March - Early April: Guinea
April - Mid May: Senegal

Glenn Kendall, International Ministries Director, has been a major key in getting this project off the ground. We first met and proposed the idea in 2009. Over the next 4 years, he encouraged me and helped getting all the planning and logistics in place. I recently shared a draft version of a video with him and he asked if he could share it with other WV missionaries.  Several weeks later, we met again at W.A.F.L. and he shared this story.

While visiting a missionary that was discouraged and tired from seeing little results, Glenn showed the video I had given him.  This video ends with the line, "I know what God has called me to do and that's just to be faithful, so that is what I'm going to do."  The missionary watching the video turned to Glenn and said, "You know, if he can do it, so can I. I'll just keep being faithful."

I can't escape the thought that this project is bigger than me.  The work is piling high and is too much for me to accomplish. The stories are too varied and complex to tell. The time is too limited. It is arrogant of me to think that I could create change by making videos. At times, I must admit that it scares me. And yet... the stories are being told and change is happening. The videos even though I've only produced a handful are having an impact. I feel privileged to be part of something this BIG and I hope you do too. I remember stories like Glenn's and know that I am only part of this bigger project. Thank you for doing your part in this project. I'm excited to see what will be accomplished.

Your Servant,
Drew Hayes

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