Monday, February 14, 2011

Field Ministry

Why exactly is this called GREENland?
The frozen vista that is Greenland lies outside my starboard window. I reminisce with my seat mate that it looks just like the flight to Nome, Alaska. Graduate-student Sara revealed that the reason for her return to the States was because a phone call the night before indicated that her mother would have two to four weeks left on this earth as a result of breast cancer. She continues to hope for healing and we called it down upon her mother in Jesus’ name as we snuggled together in the close seats.

I feel so privileged that she and so many others entrust me with their hurts and their hopes simply because, when they ask, I tell them I am a missionary. I find that I somehow ascribed some supernatural power to missionaries that was not available to the average mortal. The expectation was higher, the accountability was higher, and the results were better. Now that I’m the one called missionary I am afraid I cannot measure up to that lofty image I’d created. I’m just a simple me. I muck things up, miss cues, and fumble for words…the right words. But those moments when people like Sara reveal the pain and seek consolation in relationship…those moments are where we find the Holy Spirit creating something beautiful.

It would most certainly be a fallacy to think that a missionary’s life is filled with only those kinds of moments. We, more than anyone, wish that were so. Instead we spend days working on the practical before we get that one moment where the presence of God reminds us why what we do as missionaries is such an amazing opportunity.

Thank you for walking with me as I seek the Spirit before setting one foot in front of the other. I’ll be back to share more in the Field Ministry Blog when I return to Africa in May.

Thank you and God bless you!