"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, June 11, 2010


1. Help somebody
2. Do religious minister’s work
3. Give something-administer something such as aid, medicine, or a sacrament
Synonyms- attend, look after, care for, tend, nurse, wait on, comfort

1. Somebody doing church work abroad-somebody sent to another country by a church to spread its faith or to do social and medical work
Synonyms-disciple, follower, messenger

Brian will often lump everything we did and all that happened in Africa into this big “ministry” category and thus all “ministry” is iffy right now. That just doesn’t sit quite right with me; truthfully it just bothers me whenever he says he doesn’t ever want to do anything related to ministry again. It’s pretty serious and a little scary I guess. But the truth of the matter is, we didn’t have a “ministry” problem in Africa. We had problems with our agency and leadership. We were having difficulty believing in them (and the project) any longer, and we couldn’t stay positive enough about it, so we had to go.
But those weren’t ministry problems-those were just workplace issues. We talked with one of the pastors that came over last summer about this exact type of thing. He used the term “Christian contractor”. What we were doing for our agency was the work they asked, really in a sub-contractor type of role. That was the business, the work. The MINISTRY we actually did didn’t come from their directives, because the lists we got didn’t include any of those types of things, they were just things that needed to be done from the administration standpoint. Some of our ministry happened through the work assigned, but most of it didn’t. Gifts to families with new babies, transportation, picking up supplies and meal, sharing our testimony (both here and there), friendships, hosting teachers and teams, preaching in churches, speaking at the national women’s convention, caring for our workers’ families, singing and worshipping together—those are the types of “ministry” we did. And we enjoyed it, and we were able to minister to the nationals in our area and serve visiting teams. Were we “missionaries”? Yes, we were. Our church leadership took the time (and money) to train, prepare and equip us to minister to those in our area; THEY commissioned us, THEY sent us out. Due to their personalized care and concern for our family, we definitely had a stronger attachment and sense of accountability to them. And they thought we were doing exactly what they sent us to do. I can’t remember the exact words one of our mission guys used, but basically he said they knew all along that this was risky-definitely not a guaranteed success. If there was anyone who could do it, he thought it was us, and he knew we were called to do it. And when it became time to come back-they saw and knew it before we did (or at least admitted it to ourselves). And they welcomed us back and supported us through our transition (an oddity in the mission/church world connection we learned at our debriefing at MTI).
So, I guess where I am going (and Brian and I have spent time talking about this) is that it honestly isn’t ministry that Brian is leery of. He is leery of getting into another work situation like the one we were in. How do you really know what you are getting into and if you can really work with someone? What type of a worker do they really want? Will the boss be the same person once the job is started? These are the same types of issues most people have whenever you apply for a job.
Then we have to reconcile how it was we could have the faith and trust to just keep going, one step in front of the other, when we had these questions, but yet were being CLEARLY LED by GOD? So, so many times along the way (yes, before we even got to Africa) we asked ourselves if we could really do this (work with this agency). But every time we did, God sent confirmations that yes, this is where HE wanted us. Reading through the blog again it was so clear, again, that HE put us on this journey and it was HIM who kept us going. HE blinded us to certain things up front so HE could get us there to do what HE wanted us to do, not what WE wanted for ourselves. So we could have the first hand experiences that we have had. And then HE called us out in the way HE needed to.

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