Friday, January 27, 2012

Mission and Presence... the power of being there...

This came across my electronic desk in Oaxaca today and I felt it was well worth sharing.  If you can get past the drama, there are some good points in here.

As one of those guys he talks about who serves in the field, I certainly share his concern for funding the work we are trying to do.  I also like his idea of raising money for the field and have written on that before here.

But in spite of all that he says that can be considered good, he misses a central point.

Jesus himself believed in the power of presence.

If our mission work, both long and short-term, settled for just sending money, how would the body practice the presence of Christ.

Certainly Jesus could have healed Lazarus from afar, yet for some reason he felt there was value in going.  He felt there was value in his being among the people to do His work.

I am reminded of a conversation I had years ago with a woman named Maria in the village of Camalu, south of Ensenada, Mexico.  She told me to remember that I could come any time I wanted to their church.  Thinking I understood, I nodded my head in agreement and said thank you.

As I got up to leave, she grabbed me and explained what she was trying to say.

Maria wanted to make sure that I knew we didn't have to come and do anything.  Our simple act of being there reminded them that the God of mission was God everywhere and that was a huge encouragement for this small local church.

Our presence reinforced to them the truth that the God they worshipped in Camalu, was the same God people worshipped in Los Angeles, China, France, or Australia.

Just as when Jesus could have stayed where he was and healed his friend, many times we can stay where we are and enable mission.  And we should!

But there are also times when we must go... for the body there, and for the body here.

Remember, while money is important, and us in field folks can always use more regular support, your presence is invaluable to both us, and those we serve on the field.

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