"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Friday, April 10, 2009


I have a feeling this is going to jump all over-who knows where it will finally end up!!

MINISTRY-the office, duties or functions of a subordinate agent of any kind

MISSIONARY-pertaining to missions; one sent to propagate religion

MISSION-a sending or being sent, usually the later; a being sent or delegated by authority with certain powers for transacting business, commission, as sent on a foreign mission. Persons sent, any number of personas appointed by authority to perform any service, particularly the persons sent to propagate religion, or evangelize the heathen. That which a person is destined or fitted to do, calling

--American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828

We’ve been doing a lot of evaluating lately. And believe me-the devil doesn’t like it! The oppression we fell over us physically has been very real. The heavy chest where it is hard to breath, you feel very tired, drained, almost paralyzed into doing nothing. It moves to the head often into a bad headache. He is not happy, because it looks like we are working toward admonishing ourselves into a ministry adjustment.
Lately we’ve been very caught up in our “ministry”-what we were called to do (duties, functions). Caught up, because for various, numerous reasons we haven’t been able to do that mission very well.
We’ve been so worried about doing our ministry (office, duties, functions), we are often missing or having a hard time seeing the mission (that which we are destined or fitted to do-the calling, performing the service) we are do here.
It’s not a secret to some that we have been ready to pack up our bags and a leave a time or two, one quite recently, one quite seriously. You can say that should be expected, and it was, but actually going through it is a lot tougher than just talking about it!
So we were called here by Gospelink to head agriculture at the college. We are here as the subordinate agent to do that, and we are, just not how or at the level we believe we would be by now. More important though, we are called as GOD’s agents to do the duties and functions HE has called us to do. Most times they are the same; some times they are a little different! We knew there would be many other things we would be called to do as well-just didn’t think there would be as much of those either! And there are lots of day to day ministry/mission stuff that needs to happen that we didn’t know about; nor could Gospelink know about because we are the first full-timers here. But GOD knew! And He probably hid it from us just a little so we could get us here! J
We’ve been evaluating our call to obedience-what is it? Was the call to Gospelink? To Africa? No-the call was to OBEDIENCE-wherever, whenever, however the LORD would have it be. Will it look like we think? Apparently not! We are just the subordinates to the authority of Jesus Christ!
Recently after a very tough day, I commented to Pastor Henry that I didn’t know how long we’d be able to stay here. I had recently taught in Sunday school about being called-we are called to different things-pastors, teachers, laborers, etc. But each is CALLED BY THE LORD for HIS purposes. Of course Pastor Henry brought this up to me-You weren’t called by Gospelink-you were called by GOD! Remain faithful to HIM! (OUCH!) It was almost like being back home being challenged by one of my battle buddies. The morning devotional we posted on the 5th of April really hit home.
Our Father has been reminding us this last week that it is HE who called us-whether we like what is happening or not. And we will suffer at the hands and words of non-believers as well as, if not more by, believers. Anyone can be used as a tool for the Lord or for satan-believer or not. I have witnessed both and am sure that most have if they really stopped to pay attention. I have had the Lord use non-believers in my life for HIS good and HIS purposes and I have had believers used by satan to try and discourage, frustrate, even destroy what God was and is doing.
So where does the mission/ministry adjustment come in?

Mainly it comes through an attitude adjustment:
-it’s PEOPLE, not project
-it’s RELATIONSHIPS, not achievements
It’s spending five hours waiting for the Chief and listening to a meeting for 5 hours in Soli/Nyanji because we called to be there.
It’s meetings with villagers to help them talk through their differences to come to reconciliation.
It’s letting half the students come up and have barber shop because they don’t have any electricity right now.
It’s buying and transporting breakfast meal for the village so they don’t have to bike 20 km to get it.
It’s borrowing a bike to let someone go see their brother.
It’s giving rides to town to people we really don’t know, but love to yell “Hi Mr. Brian!” and wave us down.

Some things have happened in the past week so that many of the villagers around here have burned their bridges with us. We don’t want it to be that way-we came to BUILD bridges. But really, we’re discovering that’s very much a Western thing. Here they do what we call the “African phemonomen”. They can argue and fight tooth to nail in a meeting with each other, and then when it’s done, shake hands and ask about the family! We just have a hard time acting like nothing out of the ordinary happened! We need to be faithful to the Lord’s word, but also balance that with building relationships in a culture that doesn’t match ours.
Pray that our attitude would be a right balance-not to close off lines of communication, but also to help them realize some times that their actions are wrong and there ARE consequences.
Pray that our mission/ministry adjustment will be in the heart and the mind-that we will get past the very large TO DO list and get done what we can, but focus on the ministry that happens in the relationships!
Rebuke finished :-)

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