Monday, June 15, 2009

Where is my mission field?

This post could also be  titled "African Mission Trip Part II".   OR "somewhere in the middle" 

 Tim and I went to Africa to work with TIMO.  It's a mission that places teams with un-reached people groups on the continent of Africa.  We went because we were both feeling like God was possibly calling us to full time ministry and some doors opened for us to visit Africa.  Before we went we prayed that God would make His will clear to us before we came home, and we prayed that Tim and I would both be on the same page.  I couldn't imagine much harder than one of us flying home wondering how soon we could get back and the other flying home wondering how we could ever  face going back.  
  God answered our fingers are aching to write "sort of".   But that would be unfair and blatantly untrue.  God answered our prayers.  Flying home we both felt that God had made it clear to us that we were not being called to the ministry in Africa we thought we were being called to.  Both of us....same answer.   Isn't that what we prayed?  Then why is the answer so hard to accept?   Honestly because it's not the answer we expected or really wanted to hear.  We both went on the short term trip assuming that all was going to fall into place for us to go back full time as soon as possible.
  So now we are back to my original question.  Where is the mission field that God is calling us to?  Something that God seemed to talk to both of us about while we were in Africa was that we were not doing enough HERE.  In a lot of ways Africa is a far more open country to hearing about the word of God than the USA is.   In a town meeting we went to they opened with "WE greet you in the name of our wonderful Savior Jesus Christ", THAT would NEVER happen here.  In a lot of ways I think we have found more effective ways of sharing the gospel with the un-reached in Africa than we have of sharing with 'over-reached' here.   
  Here's the problem.  For me personally, sharing the gospel seemed a lot easier over there.   

So what now?  I don't know.  I wish I did.  We are back in the United States and back to working and living and I sooo don't want to find that we have put our hands to the plow and then turned back,  I don't want to have "reckless abandon wrapped in common sense".  

Have you heard Casting Crowns song "somewhere in the middle"?  

Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves

Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You're by my side
Loving me even on these nights when I'm caught in the middle

Do you ever feel like a song was written for RIGHT where YOU are in life?