Sunday, October 2, 2016

Chimps, Chumps & Challenges

This morning's rainbow--a reminder of God's promise that He won't destroy the earth (at least by flood) again.  I've been reading Numbers lately and twice God has threatened to destroy the complaining nation of Israel and start over with Moses.  To his credit as an amazing leader, Moses twice begs God to relent for the sake of His glory.  I wonder how many times Moses regretted that?

It's been a tough couple of weeks in the aftermath of the packing party.  As I look at my journals from past years I see that as a pattern.  The victory is a high followed by a bit of a slump.

And there've been other challenges, too.  One of our main team coordinators stepped down from her position and we also haven't found a replacement for a relay center coordinator who quit.

Sometimes even simple things turn out to be more challenging than I could imagine.  Now that I'm temporarily stepping into the Church Coordinator role I wanted to send an email to all our past participating churches.  I tried to contact the one remaining person on the church relations team to get the current list of emails but she never got back to me.

So I decided to use an old list I had.  I spent time constructing a nice email with pictures then copied my email list and confidently hit the 'send' button.  A few minutes later I got an error message telling me the email addresses weren't recognized.  Because the list of emails was so long I wasn't able to scroll down to the bottom to take any action on the message nor could I get to the original email to copy it.  After an hour of fiddling around with it I didn't even care that I couldn't save the message--I just wanted to get rid of it so I could start over.  I turned the computer off and left to do some errands.

I returned a few hours later, turned on my laptop, and there was the same stupid message front and center on the computer.

At the suggestion of Facebook friends I finally got signed up with a free email service called Mail Chimp.  It looked easy.  But, chump that I am, it wasn't easy for me.  It took me 2.5 hours to get an email list made and figure out how to compose and send the email.  But send it I did.

Meanwhile we're trying to make some sense of the leftover items that are hanging out in the storage container.  Pam, my trusty sidekick, helped Jim and me do some reorganizing in the container on Wednesday.  It looks better--not perfect, but better.  Good thing since we snagged a deal and bought another 7,800 some baseball hats for our 2017 boxes and have another donation of paper coming soon.

I dragged two carloads of stuff home and started to pack some of the miscellaneous stuff into the various odd-sized shoeboxes that were stored in my attic.  I'm up to 84 boxes so far, and it's been fun to pack some special ones with items we couldn't use at the packing party like this fancy Holiday Barbie--

Still, I struggle with leadership details and leftover emotions.  Maybe the sun will come out tomorrow and in the meantime there's always the chance of a rainbow.  And I got to take a break from thinking today to go to Rose's house and work with a group to help her pack some boxes in her garage.  Rose is a long-time member of our Northwestern PA OCC area team and as of today she's packed 1,900 boxes this year in her basement and garage.

I can be a real chump as a leader and our team has some challenges.  We aren't always great at making contacts with new churches or adding new relay centers or getting as many prayer partners as we'd like.

But one thing we do know how to do is pack lots of shoeboxes...

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