Saturday, August 16, 2014

Missions: Debunking the myth of the hyper-spiritual

Some people think missions’ involvement is too hard. It’s something they could never do.

It’s only for the hyper-spiritual.

It’s all about preaching, …and saving lives, …and Bible translation.

It’s all about mountain-top power moments where the Spirit moves radically in our lives.

When it comes to missions, sometimes people do those things. Sometimes people have those moments. But most often, international missions is doing what you do here – only you do it there.

Jimmy has sent me several text messages from their current project in Africa over the last few days. They don’t contain any radical salvation stories or mountain top moments. I hesitated to share them with you because of that lack of emotional, spiritual impact.

But then I realized that part of what we at Grow Barefoot want to teach people is that missions is doable for everyone. And I’m guessing a lot of you can identify with these stories because they’re a lot like what you do everyday – you go to work and do your job. If you're doing it to God's glory, doing it in Africa instead of America doesn’t make it any higher of a calling.

So, here’s a compilation of those messages.

Day 3 – Out to the village

We woke up in the city at 5:30am and headed to the airport to fly a small 4-seater plane out to the village. We met Coffee – a coordinator for that region – but he had eaten something the night before that, um, let’s just say it didn't agree with him. He was unable to take us to the airport. So, a strategy director over north central Africa who had come in the night before took us to breakfast. We ate at the same bakery we had eaten at two years ago.

After breakfast, we went to the market to pick up some fresh vegetables to take out to the village. We got to the airport and bused to the hanger with the small plane. We had a smooth flight as we again overlooked a barren wasteland of dry desert alive with fresh grass and flowers. In the desert, the promise of the rainy season is the promise of hope that God will provide.

The flat land reminded me of driving through Kansas on I-70. We could see scattered rain showers as we dodged weather and clouds. We arrived in the village with a greeting of over 40 people and a huge cardboard welcome sign that the missionary children had made from the solar panel boxes. The rest of the welcome party was for a sick woman very high up in town that had needed medical attention in the city.

Details have been blurred for their protection

We started working after lunch at 1pm; we worked until 10:30. I held a brief class on solar power and what we were going to do first.

ü  Get the control panel set up on the wall.
ü  Get the cables set up and wired.
ü  Get the batteries set in place and hooked up for charging.

It was a good day’s work. Despite the early start and the long workday, sleeping was a bit difficult even though it was very cool in the 70’s.

Day 4 – Making progress

We have all the cooling fans up and running. We’ve been working from 7am to 8pm every day. Everyone is getting tired. But we are about finished. God is good. It rained today and brought 70° winds that felt like air conditioning. It’s humid but comfortable at 82°. We just have half the house lights to go before they’re complete. We should have that done tomorrow. We’ll run the outlets but not hook them up. I trained Doc today how to wire the dc and he did all the lights. It took a little longer but he was excited to know how to do it. We are staying at the clinic guest house so we only see the area in the morning. We will be going to the village and market on Saturday. 

More to come...

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