We just had a team leave, and it’s time to clean up the mess. A week or so before a team arrives, we begin to accumulate supplies and food. The front patio and doorway become what I refer to as The Staging Area. Walking into the house means navigating around boxes of painting supplies, a sound system, a military grade duffel bag full of puppets, a giant cooler-dispenser of beverages thingy (I don’t even know what it’s really called), jugs of water, power tools, bulk quantities of food, folding chairs and tables, and anything else the team will need.
Everything is placed by the front door for easy retrieval and deposit. We can literally run in the house, dump off a load of supplies and grab another car-full of utensils and tools in a matter of minutes. It’s part of our logistics strategy. It looks chaotic- and it is in the long term, I can’t live like this for more than a week or two at a time- but it’s quick and easy in the moment.
Then when the team leaves, I slowly start to put away all the equipment and clean up the staging zone. I have always wanted to make a list of all the unusual things that we have in our house that are basically requirements for being a missionary. Think about it like this: what would your house look like if your church did 100% of it’s ministry in your living room, dinning room and kitchen? That’s my life. Precious storage square footage is devoted to serving platters, giant coffee makers, boxes of microphone cords, sound and video technology, children’s ministry equipment, paint rollers and pans, folding chairs and tables, giant water jugs, extra luggage and action packers. It’s a weird way to live, if you think about it.
photo credit: Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/atbaker/5453655650/”>AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter.com</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>CC BY</a>