We enjoyed seeing our friends and leaders of our sending church in Cedar Hill. We were also able to see much of our family and many of our friends from other places. We thank God for that time to spend with loved ones who are physically far away.
What's Next?Another benefit of these breaks is that they give us a step back to evaluate ourselves and our work. By pausing from the weekly schedule, we can get a fresh perspective on the big picture:
- What have we accomplished in the past few years?
- Where are we heading?
- Are we spending our time with the most important tasks?
- Are we focusing on the long term objectives?
Really, those questions are too vague, so we have to think more specifically about what we are trying to accomplish: The goal of everything we are doing as missionaries and Christians is trying to build God's community. So we ask:
- How much does the church resemble God's community?
- How is the church acting and growing as a community?
- Which tasks improve the community of the church?
These questions help us first determine what we should be doing. Then when we have a clear objective, we can decide how to work towards that goal.
Before we get busy, we want to spend a few weeks praying and deciding what we ought to be doing. Then our busy-ness will actually have value. We saw this example with Jesus as he began his ministry by spending time alone with God for 40 days.
I'm not sure Karen would be very happy if I, Rick, disappeared into the bush for 40 days. However, we can as a family and as a team take a pause to decide what the next step should be. Whatever tasks we end up doing, we hope they will build God's community.
Friends at MumenaWe look forward to seeing our friends in Mumena. It is amazing to see what changes in a person's life can happen in 2 months. We have heard of many new Christians that were baptized while we were gone, of babies being born, and of leaders who have matured much in a short time.
For the next few weeks, we are going to visit as many friends as possible while unpacking and getting settled at home.
It is an amazing opportunity to serve God as a missionary. The minor inconveniences of living away from our first culture are negligible compared to the friendships we enjoy. Even more, we know that these friendships are just beginning in God's everlasting family. It is truly a great honor that others have made such sacrifices to send us here.