Thursday, June 18, 2009

Watch our Tree grow

I was thinking the other day. I was thinking about this blog and how I wanted to write about the ministry things that were interesting. In some ways, there is so much to write about in Africa. I mean, if I just blogged the things I see and heard that are so different from America, I would be able to keep it full for weeks and months to come. There are little things and big things that happen daily, conversations and heartbreaking stories and cultural things that blow my mind. But, I really want to keep you up on all that God is doing in the ministry here as well. And I was thinking about the irony of it all. Many ministries come to Africa ready to build this or program that, take lots of pictures and then mail them home for their supporters to see. You could compare it to bringing in mature fruit trees and dropping them into these nice little rows in the middle of the desert. They look good for awhile, but because they are not trained to prune and care for trees, because they were not the national's idea in the first place, the treegivers go and so does the farm.

I believe and hope that ACTION Zambia is a bit different. Not that we haven't done some of these things. But, hopefully we are making some progress. We truly believe that healthy trees take time to grow and bear fruit. Our hearts desire is come alongside nationals that are already growing, who have a desire to grow, who need some help learning to prune and water and fertilize, and with some time and training and patience and perseverance, watch them become mature, fruitful disciples. And yet, that kind of ministry isn't too sexy.

It would be like me writing a blog about a growing tree.

Day 4: I watered the tree and it looks well watered.
Day 5: I watered the tree again. It looks the same as it did yesterday.
Day 25: The tree looks pretty much the same.

And so on. The daily reporting may not be so exciting at times, but when you look at the big picture, when you think about long term change that happens at the core and works its way out, when you are able to address some key issues and they get it, well, let me tell you, it is pretty sweet. In the mean time, we just press on, digging and pruning and teaching and training with all our might. We press on, po'ngono, po'ngono, bit by bit...

Thanks for walking with us.

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