Feedback from Saddleback LA
Well, I can’t believe it but our first week in the States is over and we are on our way to Atlanta this morning for the next leg of our trip.
LA has been great. We have been staying with Gil and Elmarie Odendaal from Saddleback church. Gil is the Global director of their HIV / AIDS initiatives so we have had some great discussions around social upliftment projects and the work that Saddleback is doing in Rwanda. We also got to attend a midweek worship meeting here, which was also great to be a part of.
The main reason for our visit to Saddleback was the Children’s ministry conference, which was very well run. The theme was Ps 78:72 about shepherding people with a pure heart and skillful hands. The conference covered aspects from leadership through working with volunteers to the programming and structure of their ministry. We also got to tour through all their facilities which we took photo’s of and also Video. All in all a great week, which we can unpack with others as we process it once we are home. Some of the key things that stood out for me were:
- Everyone in the church is encouraged to serve in some way as a part of their own spiritual growth. So their volunteer pool is always growing as people look for opportunities to grow - even the older children are serving with the younger kids.
- It is so obvious when a team is committed to one another and there is unity and mutual respect in the team. I feel Saddbleback has something of that here - the guys here are committed to unity and to working together and encouraging one another.
- The guys here think big and give it a good shot. If they are going to do something they go all out for it. They make some mistakes along the way, which is part of the journey but at the very least they are going to give it a go!
Speak to you soon from Atlanta!