Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why go to Hawaii?

I like going to Missions' prayer at church. Maybe it's the fact that I am the youngest person in the room. :) Maybe it's the like-mindedness. Maybe it's the new information and perspectives that I encounter.

For me, hearing from missionaries is a mixed experience. I listen as one of "the people," hearing yet another American missionary do his best to convey what he's seen from what may be a limited perspective. But I also listen as a fellow missionary, hearing words spoken in "my own language." Even if it's a completely different area of ministry or different phase, there is usually something I can pick out that relates to my own experience...

This evening, we heard from a couple associated with the Missionary Aviation Fellowship. Next, a couple who serves in Eastern Europe shared about their ministry. They had been to Belarus, Romania, and other countries.

They shared how it had been a bit of a culture shock when they first went to Belarus, but recently, they felt content there. "Why go to Hawaii when you can go to Belarus?" the man sharing remarked...

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That met with laughter, yet everyone in the room had had some sort of cross-cultural experience, and knew what he was talking about. You know you have caught "the bug" when you want to kiss the security guards; when the bumpy roads seem glorious; when you are eager to hear that confounded language that you just can't get right. It isn't about going on vacation or having an enriching experience; it is about your destiny in Christ.

We saw a few photos of their trip to Romania. It reminded me of Russia. When I see photos like that, to me it is like looking through a family album, or photos of my hometown. I may have taken the same photos on my first trip, but now they are just daily sights. I have to think hard to understand, "what is unusual about this photo, to American eyes?"

We also heard from a young Korean couple with a heart for evangelism. And joining us was a woman from Tibet who doesn't know of any other believers in her people group. She's studying ESL at the language school where I got my certification last summer.

It is a blessing to have this kind of fellowship regularly. And it is comforting to know that they pray for me when I'm not around!

3 comments:

  1. You are blessed. It sounds like such a fascinating group. When I was younger I was involved in a lot of church groups where I was younger than most there. It was great. I've never been too much a fan of the church groups that are all divided by age and sex rather than mission or interest.

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  2. We're glad when you're around too! :)

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