The words of the song speak to me so deeply…
“Spirit lead me where your trust is without borders.”
Thank you Hillsong United.
In just a few days the One Child Campaign July team will be on the ground in Ethiopia. This year I am feeling more deeply connected than ever to the mission of the team and watching how God will make something new from the trust and obedience of those going.
Just yesterday I ran into a woman I admire who will soon leave her comforts of home and two of her children to lead a team to Guatemala with her husband and two sons. Her words stuck with me, “We are just so unsure about what God is gonna do with this random group.” I smiled and tried to reassure her, realizing how similar I have felt on each mission trip and team I have been a part of.
My conclusion is this. Mission trips are so much more than we can envision before we go and for those of you in question they are far from a vacation. Mission trips are those uniting to action and learning to take leaps of faith, hope and trust. For me mission trips offer a way to lose myself in order to find myself and allow something new to be revealed. I have watched over and over again as the something new happens to both the one who serves and the one who is served. There is just such beauty and power in it even in the challenging and the unknown.
Afterall it was Jesus who pulled those from broken stories and injected himself into their shoes. In many ways the same is accomplished as we venture out to the place and the people to whom we are called, to the fields of the marginalized and those gripped by injustice and needing to survive. We are then injected into their stories, so that we might connect on a deep and spirit filled level.
Going and inviting others to go is an invitation to experience the stretching required to walk, albeit briefly, in another’s shoes. It is then we might be opened in a rare and contemplative way. Prehaps our own brokenness or our own great strengths and calling are revealed in glorious and life changing new ways. Perhaps we see the Father as He invites us to see Him and maybe we are forced to rely more deeply on Him. Maybe too we see the rare beauty of having less or the total reliance breath after breath on a merciful God.
When we face and really open our eyes to see the brutal and often unending injustice and marginalization we find all over the world are we not forced to reconcile our own freedoms, resources and power of influence? Will we dig deeper and pray for the ways in which we might stand in the gap? This is exactly what Jesus does own our broken behalf and it is an honor to do the same.
God pursues us in so many exciting and unique ways. We are all called to a different mission. Maybe it is a hurting child in your community, your neighbor in need of a listening ear. Maybe you are being pursued to bear the burden of children in need of families through our local foster care system. For us God’s pursuit includes the children and the ministries we have grown to know and trust in Ethiopia. For us it is being their voice and developing lasting relationships by investing in their pain and their stories. For us it is using their stories to invite others in and asking them to transcend all borders with great hope and trust. For us it is encouraging others to return home changed and ready to share how we all can change the world one life at a time.
We partner with One Child Campaign and look forward to their big week ahead as 25 people step out and head to Ethiopia for a week of learning and growth. Follow along as they seek to learn and connect with many organizations and people we love. Here are a few:
What can we learn by watching them engage, love, honor and serve? What will be the something new?
Grace and Peace in the week ahead,