Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | August 8, 2015

On Being Prepared

One thing I have never forgotten from my years as a Boy Scout is the organization’s motto — Be Prepared. Mr. Allen, my Scout Leader, drilled preparedness into us so that whether we encountered something unexpected in the wilderness or in everyday life, we would be prepared to do the right thing. “When preparedness meets crisis or opportunity,” he counseled us, “you are more likely to do the right thing.”

I thought about Mr. Allen yesterday because yesterday was a day of training and orientation — a day of getting prepared in order to be prepared. In October of this year I am headed to Africa with a team of men to work with our partners there to take the good news about Jesus to people who live in very remote areas. The only way we can get to the folks in these villages is by backpacking. Our partners have told us that this trip will be physically strenuous.

So, yesterday, three of us on the team met at Stephen F. Austin State Park to begin our physical conditioning for our trip. Last year I thru-hiked the Lone Star Hiking Trail, the longest hiking trail in Texas, with two friends. We spent months getting physically conditioned for that adventure by doing lots of training hikes with full packs. That’s the plan we are following to get ready for our African adventure.

Over the coming weeks we will steadily increase the weight in our packs and the length of our hikes. This is important because if we are not ready to meet the challenges we will face on the field, then some folks who have been waiting a lifetime to hear the good news will have to continue waiting. That’s unacceptable! We are committed to getting prepared so that we will be prepared to do the right thing when we are in Africa.

Yesterday evening was also a time of getting prepared in order to be prepared. Our Go Beyond Disaster Response Team took part in the first of several orientation and training meetings in order to be prepared to do the right thing when we are called out to serve in a time of crisis. The Texas Baptist Men, recognized globally for their work in disaster relief, is training the 100-plus folks on our team. Monte Vincent, our Disaster Response Coordinator, is also undergoing specific training to take on a broader leadership role with the Texas Baptist Men.

Being prepared — it’s something each of us should think about. We should always be in a state of physical, mental, and spiritual preparedness so that we are ready to face anything that might come across our respective paths and then do the right thing.

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