Flexibility - Learning to go with the flow in Yei

Sudan_blackboard Posted by Yei 2013 on Thu, 17 Jan 2013 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

When helping prepare a team to visit a Global Partner, two of the main questions that people often ask are “How can I help?” and “What will we do when we visit?” To each of these questions, my stock answer is “Be flexible!"

CMS Ireland usually covers this as part of its pre-departure cultural briefing by highlighting that in the West we expect to deliver a programme or do something when we visit while often our hosts are happy that we’ve made the effort to visit. Indeed when I spoke by phone to Bishop Hilary about the programme last Thursday, before we embarked on the Connor Diocese visit to Yei Diocese in South Sudan, he reminded me that it was important for the team to be flexible.

The experience in Yei is no different from other team visits to Global Partners. What is it they say about best laid plans…? On our first day it transpired that we would need to be flexible with our 3-day programme of Bible Teaching and Youth Leadership Training due to be delivered by Bishop Alan, Sam, Stephen, Andrew and Judith. We were asked to reschedule the training due to the Diocese of Yei’s Synod commencing on Thursday and the pressures on space for accommodating and feeding participants. As one of my esteemed team members would say, “Anyway…” While quite a challenge to reduce a 3-day 12-session programme down to a 2-day 8-session programme, our team rose to the challenge and decided to go with the flow.

However, there was a real sense that God had other plans and our programme did not quite fit in with them, because on what was meant to be our first day of training, we had 2 opportune meetings. We met Rev Amule, the Diocesan Youth Coordinator and Rev Obadiah, the Archdeacon of Morobo, the former Diocesan Lay Training Coordinator, who had recently delivered 3 Clergy Training sessions. Members of the team had very productive and encouraging meetings with them both which both challenged and inspired us. It became clear going with the flow and being flexible paid off and that not all our best laid plans work out for the best in South Sudan. As I have often been told by Global Partners by actually being there, leaving our families, our jobs, using our holidays, spending money to fly thousands of miles to visit them is a real inspiration and gift to them.

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