Thursday, August 19, 2004

Messy Mission Work

I’ve fallen a little behind on keeping the blog. Sorry! My brain is bursting with information.

On Wednesday, our guest was Dr. Sylvia Reimer, the medical consultant for GBGM. She is the one who cleared our medical forms, and said that we were “fit” to leave the country! She gave some great safety and health tips, as well as important information on the “Big Three” – tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. Unfortunately, all three of these worldwide scourges are active and dangerous in Cameroon.

Our attention then shifted back to our mission-field work on Thursday morning. Doug Ruffle, former director of the Honduras Mission Initiative, came to share thoughts on collaboration and teamwork.

One of his best insights was this simple slogan: “Mission is messy.” After pointing to the messiness of Paul’s mission in Corinth, Doug went on to share the messiness of his own work in Honduras. An important mark of a missionary is “flexibility” – “You need to surrender your need to always be in control, for the sake of the Gospel,” he reminded us.

He also talked about the importance of teaching mission churches to be in mission themselves. “Any church can have one of three mindsets,” he told us. “The first is ‘We exist for those of us who are already here.’ The second is, ‘We exist for the people who are not yet here.’ And there is a third mindset which says, ‘We exist for both those who are already here, and those who are not yet here.’ The third mindset is good, but the next question is, ‘Which takes priority?’”

The second mindset is the only truly Christian response. The church exists for mission – nothing else. Everything else is subservient to the move, the work, the call, the beautiful beckoning of God.

As of today … we are now only one week from departure. It’s gonna be messy, but it’s gonna be good.

Good night, Rachel, Chloe, and Mallory.