Thursday, July 29, 2010

There is no glamor in mission, only Jesus.

There is something about being in a different country that can make you seem like a real missionary. A christian taking the steps of faith from one culture to the unknown culture. Sacrifice is melted into the experience. People at home feel like their money is going to a real missionary and you email back stories and conversions and what God is doing and people praise you. Missionary work abroad can look glamorous but its not. People put you on a peddle stall when you would rather hide. Half the time you are wondering if you are making a difference - is Jesus really using me or is this a waste of time?

There are many times when you feel like you have lost faith or you feel numb and useless. A darkness wraps itself around you and blinds you into comparing yourself to every other missionary with thoughts of "Surely I should be converting the town... I should be doing this...or being like the other missionaries..."

This isn't just about being abroad or being a missionary but being a Christian wherever you are. Its about seeing your sin and for some reason when your placed in a situation that highlights your weaknesses and takes away your comforts, you then see your sin illuminating. There were many times I was on my knees struggling with the selfishness within me and asking God to make my ministry seem worthy to other people and that there would be spectacular results. But I realized that it wasn't about other people and it was in these hard times that Jesus showed me how faithful He is. Through those tears He was the one that held on to me and was faithful above all. He showed me that He worked in my weakness and that his Grace was sufficient.

There is no glamor in mission, only Jesus. And that's enough.You dont need glamour or praise or recognition. It doesnt matter how well you do or dont do or how many hours you work. Compared with eternity it doesnt matter. Above all, Jesus is who you need to sustain you through everything.
And although you can come away feeling broken and having a case of return culture shock, the truth still remains that the savior of the world is still enough for you in your small town in England. He is enough and He has to be enough or we will be lost and everything will be pointless. The love of God shines through those hard times and its the times when your most hurting that God is most showing you Jesus and how beautiful He is. We can feel like this wherever we are and that's the point - you don't have to go a thousand miles away to do great things for Jesus or be a missionary. Sometimes we go abroad because we want the status or glamor, but that will all be stripped away and you will be given just Jesus - which you will either resent or joyfully accept.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What I will miss

So the time for me to leave Peru after being here for nearly a year is fast approaching. It had been an amazing experience and at times very challenging. Once I am back in England I will take time to reflect on what God has taught me. But first I want to share the things I will miss about Peru, which are the things that I have enjoyed or have gotten use to!

- The laid back culture
- The beautiful mountains
- The different types of fruit
- The relationships made here with Peruvians and other nationalities.
- Speaking Spanish
- Everything is cheap
- The food: even rice and chicken!
- The Peruvian way of life
- Sunshine!!
- The randomness of how things are done and there is no use in getting uptight about it but you just need to go with the flow.
- A mission team
- The CU in Huaraz
- Being late and that being ok
- having 3 different climates in Peru
- Gods faithfulness in hard times

There are many things I will miss and yet there are many things I am looking forward to when I get home. God is good whereever you are.