GUPY starts with a bang –students have a lot to learn, everything is new, and we typically are headed to Glenwood Camp within three days of hte GUPYs’ arrival. GUPY typically ends with a flurry – we head out of the country for a week, have a wrap up time with kids from the neighborhood and say goodbye as a team.
But I think that middle weeks, the “meh” times where it doesn’t seem very exciting and where it’s hard to tell what, if anything, is happening, are some of the most useful times for the GUPYs.
As the program has developed, we have become less and less structured, giving students lots of “white space” in the schedule to build relationships and figure out how to form relationships without them being produced by a program. That’s not easy. The typical college student on a missions trip feels the need to be productive. Sitting on the front porch with the neighbors and their kids does not feel like Kingdom work. Sitting in the park wondering how to meet new kids and families does not feel like a good use of time.
Yet life is more often “meh” than spectacular. The work of Kingdom building is slow and steady, often unseen and beneath the surface. Relationships happen over time and they require trust to be built. The work of prayer and waiting seems like not doing work at all, yet it is deeply important.
The GUPYs are in the “meh” week. Next week they help lead Vacation Bible School, and the next will be their last full week in the neighborhood before Costa Rica. Time will fly and they will feel more useful. But today they are in the school of faithfulness and waiting. I hope that they are taking in the lessons.