Thursday, January 27, 2011

Short-Term Missions Trips

I just wanted to share a quick link with you- seriously, it will take like 5 minutes to read it. To be honest, I am afraid to even broach the subject, like I am afraid to discuss many. Our time in Namibia turned many of our preconceptions on our head. About giving. About serving. About Love. About evangelism. Most importantly, about God.

Up until this point, our lives since we got home have been about surviving, enduring transition, and clinging to Jesus as we re-integrate to this now-somewhat-foreign culture that used to feel like home. It doesn't anymore. Nowhere does completely (for more, check out this past post). And we are okay with that. It has been a really intense time, in so many ways, and we've sometimes struggled with being real and honest, when everyone wants a happy face and a positive report.

The most often-asked question we receive is [often with a wistful sigh] "Wasn't it amazing?" followed by close second in "I can't imagine the fun you had!"

I nod politely and mumble something about us being at peace that was where God wanted us at the time, but inside I am screaming:

"NO! Are you crazy? It was not fun! How can you think I could enjoy seeing people suffer from disease, death, poverty, hunger, abuse, spiritual lies, and things I could never even write here because most hearts can't handle it?????"

Yes, it was amazing- but not in the way they think. I think the best word to describe it is "satisfying."

My heart is forever broken by the things we experienced. Not that it's not joyful about so many triumphs, but my blissful ignorance was shattered. I have seen a greater hurt, one that only Jesus can heal- but don't read that too quickly. The important part is that Jesus CAN heal.

There is so much I want to say, and so much I need to process. Things that aren't necessarily fun or pretty or peaceful. Please take it all with a grain of salt.

He didn't teach us those hard lessons only for us to keep it to ourselves. If there is one thing we have discovered about our first time out, it's that he was laying foundation.

And that is truly the hardest, and most important part of building anything. I feel it. The weight and responsibility of it. The necessity of not forgetting. Needing to not waste even one moment. Just when I think I can't handle one more tiny bit of stress or change, it has come.
But He has been faithful, so faithful. More than I can ever articulate.

I know He has a brilliant and beautiful plan, one I can't fully see, yet. He is worthy of my trust.

I guess this post didn't exactly go as planned, but that's okay. It's pretty much analogous to life, huh? There will be more on short-term mission trips, and so much else. Please allow me to share with you on this journey.


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