Monday, January 19, 2009

The triumph and brutality of mission...

"God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy..." -Psalms 68"6

I have some friends in our church, who just returned from Africa and this video appears to capture some of the tough stuff they are processing. I see it in the stare, the slow talking, the anguish of two worlds crashing together.

I can feel the unstable emotional equilibrium. I can sense the rage, the powerlessness, the hopeless hope and the mustard seed faith...all kicking and screaming like a baby born...but unable to care for itself...like spiritual mother's who are so exhausted from the birthing, they have no strength...bleeding in heart and soul.

Idealism gets raped by reality in mission.

As a pastor with hands and heart engaged in mission; i've witnessed and experienced this re-entry malaise and mission fatigue. I know God uses it...but I've also seen the enemy use it too. I long to work at building better mission runways for take off and for landing within the local church context, especially the American cultural context. I think people process too much of these conflicting juxtapositions alone....here enters the power of love, community, prayer and journeying together.

I would love to hear more ideas, or helps from anyone else reading this, that could offer some wisdom on this work of aftercare. I plan to use this video in our future aftercare processing.

On another note...it was a beautiful thing, looking into the crowd Sunday and see "Sarah and LemLem" their Africa teenage daughters huge smiles, sitting there with us for the first time. Getting to embrace in love, the girls we all prayed for, helped our friends fight for and now get the chance to walk with.

God is good.

Love truly...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things...Love never fails. (1 Cor. 13:7)
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