Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pondering Details of PD Trips

Tomorrow It begins. The First One of 2011. Or, in Minnesota terms, The Big One. No, it’s not a snowstorm. Neither is it a tornado (though it might feel like it…).

 It’s my January PD Trip.

What’s this PD trip? I will be traveling around the state of Minnesota, putting hundreds of miles on my car, giving 6 presentations in about 8 days in order to share with people about the joy of Bible translation and how they can be involved.  Why so many in such a short time? Because I  have an opportunity to work alongside a STEER rep (check out yesterday’s post called “STEERing clear of Chicken-Godzilla”). 

And so, today I am finalizing details for my PD trip.

“PD” in Wycliffe-lingo stands for “partnership development,” because what I’m doing is more than just trying to raise money. I’m presenting opportunities to people to respond to the call that God may have laid on their hearts to be a part of the ministry of Bible translation. I’m seeing out my co-workers, my co-laborers, my partners, and it’s exciting. :-)

It’s also a lot of work. PD could also stand for Particularly Draining or Pretty Depleting.

First there is the putting together of the Talks. Accuracy, flow, biblical basis, personalization to audience, and length are all worthy goals. But there is key point that trumps them all: the words must be interesting. So much so that no one should fall asleep. More importantly, so I don’t fall asleep. You might rate this more highly if you also told the same stories over and over and over and over. 

 Then there are the infamous Multimedia Presentations. Powerpoints and videos are awesome. And, at the most inopportune moment, the sound shuts off while the lights stay on, so the poor washed-out characters just move their mouths and flail their arms and we have no idea what is going on.

Do you think I have enough?
 Of course I must have Props. And a Table. You know what I’m talking about: all missionaries must have one. One of those displays in the foyer with all the cool artifacts and pictures of their family members eating bugs or crouching in a hut. I don’t have those photos yet, but I do have some cool artifacts, thanks to a friend who served in PNG.

And Literature. People need something to bring home and remember why they sat through the presentation, especially if the video goes kaput. But the real challenge is knowing how much to bring. Something very strange and psychological happens when people come to a table to look at literature. I call it the Huge Stack Phenomenon: I may only hand out four brochures, but none will go if there aren’t 20 out there. Unfortunately, huge stacks are heavy.

"Do not use with pacemakers..."
There are always those inconsequential details. Such as where I’ll eat. Or sleep. And since it is January and Minnesota, I have to be Snowstorm Prepared. And I have to be grateful, so hostess gifts and thank you notes are a necessity. And don’t forget my ultra-cool-super-magnetic name tag! (Don’t come too close if you have a pacemaker. You might meet your Maker sooner than expected.)

None of this really covers the actual organizing of the events themselves, the food, the advertising, the correspondence (thankfully by email, otherwise we would have demolished a rainforest…), the maps… Loads of maps. If someone wanted to plan a stealth attack on the small towns of Minnesota, I have more than enough maps. I could supply their whole legion.

And I’m sure there are things I’ve forgotten. Maybe because at this point my mind is Partially Debilitated. Regardless of all the Potential Disasters or Possible Drama, in the end, all of this PD really is Perfectly Delightful.