Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Reaching to Russia - 26 hours

In 26 hours, Traci and I pack up our kids, bags and supplies and head for New York, Moscow and finally Minsk, Belarus.  I’m tired just thinking about it.  I’m grateful thinking about it too.  How blessed I am that at least once a year for every year of my married and parented (?) life I have been able to take some or all of my family and go, live, serve, learn, listen, encourage, experience and (hopefully) reflect God’s love to nations of people created in his image.   Come to think of it, I’m not so tired anymore.  I’m excited again!

Before we go…

I gathered this past Sunday with nearly 100 or so former Lipscomb University basketball players who had the honor of playing under Coach Don Meyer.  Coach Meyer passed away on May 18 at his home in Aberdeen, South Dakota.  He left behind a legacy.  The picture below is but a small fraction of the men who played for him at Hamline University in MN, Lipscomb University in TN and Northern State University in SD.  While some of us are more endowed with hair than others, some look like they still could play, some of us you would think never could play, we all share a similar strand of DNA breathed into us by Coach Meyer.  Since his passing 16 days ago, I have seen Twitter, Facebook and my email inbox light up with “Meyer-isms” that he either gathered or created which have impacted us all then as players and now as husbands, fathers, coaches, pastors, doctors, missionaries, business owners, teachers, principals, administrators, managers and most of all as men.


My former roommate and forever teammate, Shannon Terry, posted 3 of the lessons he values from Coach Meyer here.  I know Shannon well and see these three things alive and well in him and those organizations he leads.

Ricky Bowers, the “Superman” of Bisons past, penned a poem that as of yet is unpublished but summed up much of what it was like to play for and grow up under Coach Meyer.  Hopefully, someone gets that poem from him soon and posts it online. 

I’ve thought a lot the last 2 weeks as well about what I learned from Coach that still impact me today.  The list is huge.  My friend Wade Hodges always reminds me that I would do well to think and write in sound bites.  I think he’s right.  This email obviously breaks that rule on a macro level but on a micro level here is my one shining take away from Coach Meyer and it’s one I’ve heard no one else on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress or email recite.

“Define your unique talent or gift, develop it to the fullest, and give it away every day.”

In my adult life I don’t attack odd front zone defenses or need to back cut against overly defended passing lanes or swing the ball against a pressure defense that fronts the post.  I do though need to be acutely aware of what God has gifted me to do and think about how I can use that to empower others, especially when those I empower are committed to serve orphans. 

Yes, we’ve made the jump now you were waiting for.  We’re back to the point of orphans and those who mentor them.  As our organization has grown the last few years and my role has changed, I have been asked numerous times “what exactly do you do?”  My short, quipped answer these days is, “I am a 6-7, two hundred and something pound, formerly red headed but now slightly greying cheerleader.  It’s not your ideal picture of a cheerleader I know but it’s working well for our team.”  As one gifted in encouragement, that is the gift/talent I see I have discovered, defined and am enjoying developing.  Now my challenge is to truly give it away every day.  That’s what I and my family will be doing in Belarus and Russia the month of June – inspiring our team to fulfill our mission. 

Please pray for us as we go tomorrow and serve this month of June.  And while you are at it consider for yourself your unique talent or gift.  Once you do dive head first into developing it and then heart first into giving it away.

Grateful for each of you,
Rob


Rob Browne
Executive Director

678-935-0220 ext. 103
404-518-5646 Cell
678-935-9674 Fax
          http://www.youthreach.org
          1911 Grayson Hwy, Ste 8-344
          Grayson, GA 30017


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