My reason for working so hard to try to get organized is that we have A LOT on our plate right now and we can't afford to not be organized. We have several short-term teams coming this year and we have to be completely on-the-ball to pull this off. The first team of the year will arrive in four weeks and we are in the final stages of getting them here. While they are here, we will have a visitor arrive from the States for several days to work (yes, their travel plans overlap). Two weeks after the first team departs, the next team arrives. And so it will go until mid-August... teams coming, teams going, visitors coming and going, interns arriving to work for a few months, etc. And not much time in between. Therefore, we have to be prepared and organized:
- reservations at hotels must be made anywhere from 30-60 days in advance and a deposit must be paid when the reservations are made (in person, of course) which means a trip to Lima to pay up.
- transportation must be arranged (charter busses or tickets on bus lines, local transportation, etc). Again, deposits must be paid.
- food - cooks need to be contracted, menus prepared, shopping at the market, reserves of gas ordered, etc.
- translators must be contracted
- ministry initiatives must be finalized and a Peruvian team must be assembled to work alongside the North Americans
- Schedules must be finalized and ministry initiatives programmed
- Water needs to be purchased in bulk, water filters need to be changed...
- Who is going to Lima to pick up the team and accompany them? (that means at least 2 days of travel for that person) Who is leading devotionals and worship time? Who is responsible for the training and accountability?
And these are only some of the things on the checklist for a "regular" short-term ministry team. If it is a medical mission, you can add about 50 more things to the list!!!
In other words, organization is not a luxury - it is a MUST! And we still have on-going ministries that don't stop while short-term teams are here. For this reason, we always have Peruvian counterparts who we train and work with daily so that the ministries are Peruvian-run and will continue in our absence.
So I gave Billy a bad rap in the first paragraph... in reality, he likes the organization and he will be happy to see the office when he gets home today. He just isn't the one who LIVES for organization. Billy is happy with however things are. I, on the other hand, would be really excited if I get to heaven and find out that The Container Store has recently redecorated God's throne room! Or if Tupperware has a special section in heaven... wow! Just imagine it!!! That would be perfect!