"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

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Why are we in Colorado at DAR (Debriefing and Renewal)? It is a safe place to go and talk about our experiences; a place to get counsel on the “next step”. Some of the missionaries here are going back to the same field, others are going into other fields and others are staying here in the states. Some here have been in the field for many years and there are others that like us have only been in the field for a year. A common thing for missionaries is that you do not deal with “things” (hurts, frustrations, loses, pain, etc.) in the field. Mainly because you are too busy and it takes focused time to do it. So you come here where there are staff that have been there and done that. A lot of the help comes from the other missionaries that are here because just like you they have gone through a world of different experiences-some good, and sadly, quite a few bad. There is one particular couple here that just went through something very similar to what we went through this last year and in particular the last 4 months. And most are trying to deal with the transition of being back and what that means and what it looks like.
One of the exercises we have done is empting out our backpacks. That is all the stuff that we are carrying around with us from our experiences. The good and the bad; sorting through our emotions. One of the analogies that is being used is that of a house. In a house you have a lot of different rooms and some of the rooms you let most people into but there are some that you let few if any into. You may not even go into them yourself for any number of reasons. But the main reason is it is painful. It is the room where you put the stuff that you do not want to deal with. So here (at MTI) you have someone who will walk into that room with you to sort through stuff and help you with throwing out what needs to be thrown out or move stuff into another room. We deal with the lies that the enemy has sold us and we focus on Christ and who HE is and His love. A lot of the comfort comes from just knowing that there is a whole room of people that know and understand right where you are because they have been there or are there right now. The kids have classes as well and their teachers have all been in the field. So they are helping the kids process the transition they are in and what they have gone through in the field.
In military battle terms- When you are in battle and you get wounded, you do a field dressing. And that is fine for the immediate but it is not for the long term. If it is not dealt with properly it gets infected. So when you come off the front lines you need to remove the dirty field dressing and open up the wound and clean it out, maybe cut away the dead and infected tissue and sew it up and bandage it so it will heal completely. There will still be a scar that will fade over time. But if you do not deal with it properly, it will eventually destroy you.
Why are we doing this? Because we want to be health physically, emotionally, and spiritually so we can serve the Lord (wherever) well with all our heart. In the church it is often talked about that we should be more like Christ. Have you ever thought about what that means? How that happens? Do you want to know, really? I believe that to drink from Christ’s cup, to become more like Him, you are going to suffer. Does that mean that life is going to be all bad? NO, but you are going to need to go through some hard things and learn from them. To learn to love your enemies you first must have an enemy. To learn about forgiveness you first must be wronged. To learn about the true joy in the Lord you first must experience deep pain. To learn obedience we first must be asked to do something. To learn true dependence on Christ you must be in deep need. And to be able to minister to others you often must experience the pain to be able to understand. These are the hard lessons of the faith that are not often talked about. Many just want to talk about how we serve a God of love-and we do. But more than that, we serve a God that wants a relationship with us. He is our Father and we are His children. I believe that when our heart aches His heart also aches. Sometimes He must show us our need for Him.
I am so thankful that we came out here for this week. It has been a long time since I have seen any light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

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