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!


  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.

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


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