Ok, Which One of You Took My Plane?
Seven straight weeks of extended travel can wear on a person. Last night we had the priveledge of flying for over 6 hours and making it all the way to ……. Dallas. Now we live just 2.5 hours from Dallas so as you can see, it was a lot of travelling for nothing. We now sit on a hotel shuttle going back to the airport to do this all over again. You just have to laugh, and realize that God has a sense of humor.
Life is a unique journey and I truly believe that all of these obstacles that get thrown in our path are just God’s way of keeping us focused. We have been given some very unique skills and at MMI we have been given the charge to do His work no matter what the challenge. Boy, do we see challenges every single day!
We are in the Customer Service business, while serving God’s people. Our customers are many….The Poor, The Volunteer, The Donor, Community, etc. and each one has its own set of needs. It is imperative that we not allow outside influences to affect the work of the ministry, especially when we are the ones that come under fire. There are many times that we have a member of one of these groups that gets frustrated with something and even if we had nothing to do with the frustrations, we must be the people that take the brunt of that frustration. In this case, we get to live it first hand. There is nothing fun about sitting in an airport to fly away from your family and then not even be able to get there!
There are so many obstacles in the field where we do our work that arise on a minute by minute basis. Some are related to culture, and thus we have staff on the ground everywhere we serve to try to address these issues before we have any Project Team join us on the ground. Ninety percent of the time, everything goes really well, but there are few times that despite our best efforts, something unique is thrown at us to address. We understand this and to the credit of our team, we can handle nearly every issue. The biggest challenge becomes not the issue, but how our Volunteers handle the blip in the plan. The number one rule in working with MMI is that you have to be flexible. That is not just a rule, but a necessary requirement. Most embrace this and usually the issue becomes a great story that we can tell for many years to come. Every once in a while, someone just freaks out and then we have our hands full not only with the issue, but now one of our team.
This is not an usual occurence, but on a rare ocassion, these people can be quite the challenge. Unfortunately regardless of whether we had anything to do with the issue, which usually is not the case, the MMI Team gets the brunt of their frustration. Is it fair, no. We have come to realize that sometimes issues that are out of our control will frustrate someone enough and we get to be the punching bag. Later on, usually the person will come back and apologize, other times they will just continue to let it bother them forever. It’s sad, but for anyone to do the work we do, they need to come to understand it is normal life in pursuit of serving the poor.
Yes, the last 24 hours have been crazy and the frustration is high for everyone sitting at the airport. The type of work we do has prepared us to realize that these poor people are just trying to do their job and our frustrations do not need to be taken out on them. It happens! The next time you are presented an obstacle, take a step back and determine if getting all stressed out will solve the problem, or just make you miserable. We will eventually get where we need to go, and when we do, just think of all the stories we will have to tell! I am sure glad we serve an awesome God that has a sense of humor!