According to Wikipedia, "teamwork" is defined as:
"the collaborative effort of a group to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way. This concept is seen within the greater framework of a team, which is a group of interdependent individuals who work together towards a common goal."
The amazing individuals that we refer to as "Team Carmody" are a group of interdependent individuals who work in collaboration to achieve the common goal of preaching the gospel and serving the poor. Together we are helping to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, which is to take the faith to all the ends of the earth.
|Synergy is when |
the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
In mathematical terms we say that synergy is when 1+1=3.
If I would have been the one to write the definition of "teamwork" I would have included something about synergy because experience tells me that a group of dedicated individuals can achieve far more by working together than any/all of them could have individually.
Ever since Jesus called us to missions back in 2015 I've been convicted that this is truly a team effort. I've also been convicted that the mission isn't just about evangelizing the poor in the 3rd world. The Lord uses this mission to spark interest amongst the spiritually ignorant and apathetic; He uses it to strengthen the weak and draw the faithful ever closer to Himself. I believe that the Lord intended for this mission to be a means by which countless people could live out their faith in tangible ways and contribute to the building up of His Almighty Kingdom.
A couple months ago we received an email from a couple members of Team Carmody asking if it would be possible for them to spend a bit of time with our family during their upcoming trip to Puerto Rico. "Of course" is the obvious answer! Through subsequent communications we learned that they wanted to do a work project during their stay. This got the gears turning. Work project - work project? Chris and I began praying about what sort of project would be most appropriate... It should be something that can be completed by four adults within a few days time, something challenging, but not too strenuous and DEFINITELY something that has the potential of bringing people closer to Jesus. Work project, work project - what should we do??? Living in a hurricane region there is no shortage of work that could be done and yet the people here are accustomed to walking around the piles of rubble and seem to accept that the trash heaps will likely disintegrate long before they ever get taken away. So, what work project should we do with our guests???
|Here's the collapsed house as we were putting in the bench... |
I forgot to snap a "before" picture to show the crumbling seat/wall.
One day, when we were out walking a couple blocks from our house, and idea came to us ~
we should build a bench for the folks who gather almost every day and sit upon the crumbling wall of a collapsed house for hours and hours under the blazing hot sun.
After getting the permission of the property owners and the blessing of the man who owns the bar next door, we set to the task of designing our bench.
|This is one of my many sketches.|
Our original plan was to make the base cement, the bench wood, and the roof steel, but that's because we're not Puerto Rican. When we consulted some locals they all agreed that the cement would take forever to harder because we're at the front end of the rainy season; the termites would eat the wood, and the high winds would twist up the umbrella-like metal roof that I had designed. Now what? We needed to visit Buzo, the local expert in welded metal creations.
After explaining our idea, Buzo was happy to help, but he wasn't quite sure how the work he's done alone for over 40 years was somehow going to be a group project. "Perhaps we could all install it together." I suggested. He smiled and said, "Sure".
On the agreed upon morning, as we were waiting for Buzo to arrive with the bench, we all started painting the adjoining wall in the traditional Puerto Rican style of brightly colored rectangles.
After we got the big blocks of color done
we added a big heart, which is the world-wide symbol of love, and in big bold letters, the phrase, "Jesus Loves You".
Now when people walk by they are reminded of the Lord's love for them.
When Buzo arrived the guys worked together to get the bench installed.
When Buzo was satisfied that it was secure and safe we all got to be the first to enjoy it's refreshing shade.
During the rainy season it rains pretty much every single day for about three hours in the afternoon. When our friends arrived it seems that they brought the sunshine with them. When they left the nice weather followed them. With the non-stop rain Chris and I had to wait a week or so to put the finishing touches on the bench. Following are some photos:
Here is our final project: a sturdy, comfortable place to rest in the shade
where one can be reminder that Jesus loves him/her.
When our friends first emailed us to ask about the possibility of doing a work project together, we had no idea what we'd do - but Jesus did. We had no idea who Jesus wanted to reach through our loving efforts - but He did.
A few days ago Chris and I passed by "the Jesus bench", as the locals have started calling it, and a woman we know stopped us to thank us for making her neighborhood so much nicer. She continued to explain that every day she sees people relaxing in its shade.
With each day that passes, I am more and more convicted that this mission is so much bigger than I ever could have imagined. The Lord uses this mission to touch the hearts of countless people all around the world and gently pulls them closer and closer to His loving heart. What is accomplished, in the name of Jesus Christ, through the members of Team Carmody is exponentially greater than the sum of what all of us could do individually. This mission is a perfect, living example of synergy.
I offer prayers of thanksgiving for our friends who initiated this work project and for the member of Team Carmody who raised the money we needed to buy all the paint. Together we are spreading the Good News to all the ends of the earth....just like Jesus asks us to.
Thank you for taking time to read about what the Lord is doing through Team Carmody. I pray that you continue to seek Him in meaningful ways, and that you're docile to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit so that your "yes" can be part of some bigger effort to spread the joy of Jesus' love.
God bless you today, tomorrow and always, Karen
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so that we can continue serving those in need, please visit:
or call Family Missions Company at (337) 893 - 6111.
Thank you and may God bless you and your family!