Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Why I Go...

I've been sick over the Christmas weekend... It stinks- flu-like stuff, mainly a headache. I drove back to Orlando from West Palm Beach tonight, and decided to just relax, watch the last half of "End Of The Spear" and lie down (I'd watched the first half last week). I got to the part where Dayumae comes back with some of the wives and children of the killed missionaries to the Waodani tribe, and this part always ALWAYS gets me... Here's the dialogue:

Dayumae: the wood bee family wanted to tell you "Waengongi" doesn't want anyone to kill. (Waengongi is the name for their revered figure)

Mincayani and other men: Waengongi!??

Her statement is met with great surprise, and suspicion.

Mincayani: How do they know what Waengongi says?

Dayumae: Waengongi marked his trail with carvings. They say we shouldn't kill.

(another man): Where are these carvings? Show them. (agreement rises from the other men)


Kimo: Why didn't the wood bee men shoot us?

Dayumae: They came to tell you Waengongi has a son. He was speared...But he didn't spear back. So the people spearing him would one day live well.

What is so stinking moving to me? Why to I get emotional every time I see this?

It's the use of culture and language. Those missionaries got it! They didn't just go to these people, who'd rarely ever even seen white men before, and say, "Jesus died for you. Believe in Him, and be saved." They didn't start with something totally foreign to those Waodani, and try to push it on them. Instead, they used things that were already familiar to them. They incorporated culture AND language, all the while building relationships with the people in that tribe and surrounding tribes. And the results were astonishing!

Do you support any type of mission work that spreads the Gospel among different language groups? I would encourage you to look in to those groups' practices. How do they go about things? Is their goal to quickly produce a new translation of the Bible? Or do they actually take the time needed to learn about a peoples' culture? Do they incorporate culture and heritage into the language translation? Or do they try to literally interpret the Bible? These are very legitimate and important questions.

So, the question: Why do I go?

I've asked that a lot recently, myself. This next trip... I've struggled with God's will versus my own concerning going back. I'll be totally honest: I'm running big time. So many heartaches in 2006- the last time I felt completely safe and at peace, I was on the Far Side Of The World. I've wanted to be back there since the day I returned to the States.

But then I see a movie that is all about tribal missions, and I am reminded of the real reason I am going: IT'S FOR THEM. Ultimately, it's not at all about me. It has nothing to do with running, or whether or not it was my will or God's. I am going for the sole purpose of serving, in whatever capacity I am needed, in order to help expedite the carrying of the Gospel to people who've never heard before in their own language, in a manner that is most understandable.

INTERFACE is a wonderful place, and an awesome experience that shares with the students a glimpse into the world of tribal missions. Many students from Interface go on to become tribal missionaries themselves- and that is the goal of having such a program.

And my goal in going is to assist the staff and students in whatever way possible- to help make it such a fantastic learning experience for the students, so that maybe even just one person who attends will return some day with the intention of doing their part to help expedite the Gospel to those who've never heard of our Great God before.

I welcome your questions or comments concerning this venture, New Tribes, or anything else that might come to mind.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Contemplating Baptism, Part 1.

(When being baptized)

Breathe this in-
The water's wait.
Wide awake,
Breathe this in
The water's wait.
Asking if you are...


Everything within you will feel
Erased now

(Before baptism)

Houses full of no escape.
It starts to pull
He's in this place,
To question who you are.

Who am I?
Who am I?
I will fade

I've been thinking a lot recently about my own baptism. January 11, 2004, in freezing cold water, at Southwind, at the first Revolution retreat...

I remember a moment... And a feeling... Right before going under, time stopped, and it was a feeling of panic, and of letting go. Something within me registered that things would be different now.

That feeling was of being erased. Everything within me felt erased. I wasn't the same. I realized there were some things in life I could not return to.

"Who am I?" I'm not the same now as I was before... Life has changed. And I am forever grateful to God for that. I hate that I lived away from God for so long... "Who am I?" I'm His. This is neither easy nor completely pleasant on any given day. But oh- the rest and peace...


Monday, December 18, 2006

Prayer Requests

Thank you for your prayers in advance!

I am only 20 days from departure, and I'm falling into this pattern that I seem to have when it's close to Exit time.

First, I tend to get really clingy- I miss my friends A LOT when I'm gone, and all I want to do is spend more time with them before I leave. But it's Holiday time, so that is sort of difficult...

I also tend towards worry- mainly about finances- for both support to come in, and for home finances while I'm gone.

I worry too about my family and friends while I'm gone- that something will happen, and I won't be here, or be able to come home. (it doesn't help that something DID happen last year while I was gone, and I about lost it when I found out!)

And now, since I don't have a roommate this year, I worry about my stupid material stuff, that's God's stuff anyway, like my house and my car.

Finally, there was this situation that played out right before I left last year, and a similar version of that is happening again right now. I recognize this as an idol, but it's a very tempting one... Aren't they all though, huh.

So basically, please pray that I wouldn't give into my fears! I know it's not from The Lord. "For God doesn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7) Please do pray for trip logistics, and for my heart to belong to God ALONE. Anything is possible. But not everything is right. Pray that God would bless me with wisdom and discernment.

I love you all, and am so thankful for you!