If you grew up in or around the church, you have no doubt seen a presentation from a visiting missionary or two. You know what I’m referring to; a powerpoint presentation (or when I was a kid, actual slides in a carousel on a projector – they go in circles, drop little white squares into a…never mind – google it, I’m sure there is one in a museum somewhere.) They always start with bright eyed little kids and end with a montage set to a contemporary christian tune and a grand finale sunset. The gist of the whole presentation is to either justify the money the church has invested in this mission or convince the church to support them.
Honestly, it is has to be THE worst job we as a universal church make those would carry our message of hope and grace and mercy endure. We take people who have a passion for going, giving and caring and turn them in to door to door peddlers of an idea and vision. We require them to operate outside their strength in order to give them the opportunity to live up to their callings. (Please excuse me while I climb down off the soap box and get on with the issue at hand).
There are places that I remember hearing about during those presentations that I still feel a connection to. Some I have been to, some I hope to go to, others I will go to if called and am grateful that others have been obedient to that call in their lives. From Puerto Rico to Macedonia, downtown Dallas to remote African villages – Thursday is my day to remind myself that there are people all over the world giving their hearts, minds and souls to help meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of others. As I remember these places and people, I am also deliberate to keep myself open to God’s calling and direction on my own journey. Right now he has me on a lake in North Texas, who knows where the next “place” will be. I’m thinking a Caribbean harbor somewhere, but am open to most any where with water!
(OK, Lord, even somewhere without water, I get it – your call!)