We're hosting a team this week and I thought you might like to know what we do with 'em. We have taken a different tack with teams - often, urban mission destinations will give a team busy work with organizations in the city (soup kitchens, clothes closets, work projects, etc.) as a way to help those groups do projects they cannot normally do with regular staff and to let the team catch a bit of missionary vision by osmosis through interaction with different agencies. We've done this but have begun to grow in a different direction.
Following YWAM's model of training then outreach, we have designed every day of a team's week to be educational with practical application. We start out with an orienting tour that tells the story of YWAM Modesto's beginnings and the issues in the communities in which we work.
Each morning is spent in worship, prayer, reflection and debriefing together plus a teaching from one of our staff members.
Early on, we provide a wide event like a community BBQ or another way to just plant in an area for a while to meet the people we want to be with throughout the week. We let the team meet the people on the street and then debrief with them to see what they would like to do with these new friends for the rest of the week.
Then we follow the team's lead to help them make the things on their heart possible. This leads to all kinds of creative ideas...some are possible and some are not but the team gets a good idea of what it's like to engage a community and try out creative, compassionate ideas with their friends.
This week, we helped a couple of people with simple but overwhelming yard projects...
... we spent quality time creating safe spaces for people to be refreshed and out of the weather...
and we threw a party on the street...
We want our teams to leave with a passion for going back home and doing something similar...putting yourself out into a forgotten community, meeting the people and letting friendship and compassion lead you into engaging that community with the good news through listening, learning, serving and celebrating.
And of course we take them for the always important cultural experience, the taco trucks!