One interesting dynamic of our IMPACT team that went to the Dominican Republic was the makeup of the leadership.
My wife Katie and I were the oldest leaders but we had no experience leading a team like this. Kory (back row, second from right) and Alison (front row, far right) Lantz are young but have plenty of experience, which made them strong leaders. Jessica Noelle (front row, middle) is a natural leader but was on her first mission trip overseas.
When we arrived in the Dominican Republic, we met our trip leaders. Sam Borg (back row, second from left) is in his late 20s and has been leading trips since he was 16 years old. He was definitely the go-to guy when any of us had questions. He brought along three great leaders - David Hair (back row, middle), Ryan Bozarth (back row, far right) and Andy Martin (not pictured) - to help our team find its way in a foreign country. Sam, David and Andy also served us as translators, so that was a huge blessing.
The leadership team was able to bond pretty quickly and we each found our roles quite naturally. One thing that helped with this process was our leader meetings. Each night at dinner we would gather to discuss future plans, what we had seen each day and any issues that were arising. Fortunately for us, this team had very few issues so we were able to focus on plans and encouraging each other.
As we got closer and closer, we all started hoping for more leader meetings whenever we had a chance. The students probably got sick of us gathering so much, but it was too much fun and such a huge blessing to be with the other leaders. Our meetings were always filled with laughter, stories and prayer. We prayed for each other. We prayed for the students. We prayed for the people we met in the DR.
Leader meetings were a life-giving and uplifting time for all of us.