Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Being "on mission"

I have been back from my trip to Kenya for a few weeks. Even though it was
such a quick trip, it continues to affect me. I have been on a lot of
mission trips as a student and as a youth pastor. And now I am a
"missionary." I see a lot of people come to Zambia to "do" missions. It is
a very different perspective watching short term missions from the mission
field. So it really messed with me, when, I, a missionary, went on a
mission trip with another short term mission trip people. I remember what
it is like to be on mission trip. You are focused. You are all about other
people. You are working together. You are "on mission!" You notice ever
kid. You love the culture. You are adventurous. So, when I went to Kenya, I
was "on mission." And I was. Except, it was weird because I knew the culture
and I was comfortable in poverty. I had an advantage over the short term
mission people. And here is what has been messing me up since. My life is
to be "on mission." I am a professional missionary. It is what I do. And
yet, Lusaka is now comfortable. I have subtly settled into life as I did
back in Bellevue or Bellingham. I have my pastors I teach. I have my
preaching and my ministry. But, what the trip to Kenya did was reawaken my
heart for doing mission here in Zambia as a missionary. I have seen some
changes since I returned. I notice the kids. I love the people. I am
listening to what God wants to do in me. (Or at least I am trying to.) I
have noticed that simmer down a bit but it still is sticking. I guess the
point I am making is that whether you are a "missionary" or a normal person
living in your familiar land, we are all called to be "on mission"
missionaries. Our work is our mission. Our home is our mission. Our
neighbors are our mission. We are to live with eyes open and hearts open and
lives open to mission. Life can be such routine and in some ways, that is
good and normal. But, let us not forget why we are here on earth, to live
the great com"mission", to love people into the light of Jesus. That
grocery clerk is not just there to scan your meat. The nurse is not there
just to check your blood pressure. The friend of your kids is not there just
to occupy your kid. We are always on mission, sent by God to bless people
for the glory of God. And take it from me, if a missionary can forget to
live missional, how much easier is it for those living in the norm. Stretch
yourself, pray for people, take a different way home, stop and help a
stranger... Live missional and enjoy the mission life, every day.

I think the most important thing though on living is missional is doing it
with people. The mission trip was such a huge success because we were on
mission together. Co-Missional living. Most missional ambitions usually end
the same way new year's resolutions do. Unless you are walking with people
through it all, it won't last.

Lastly, you can do missions without even leaving your couch. Pray. Never
underestimate the power of prayer to change a nation...

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