This will be quick. I haven’t had much to say lately. Still absorbing, still processing. But one big thing is coming up for me and I wanted to share a few thoughts on it.
This week I will be heading to Peru on a missions trip with a group from my church. This is a yearly event for us. We partner with an orphanage there, and every year we make our down to meet with the kids, relieve the madres that work there, and help with anything that might be needed at the orphanage. This will be my first time going, and I am looking forward to it for a number of reasons. Of course, I am looking forward to snuggling with the kiddos, loving on the workers there, and just all around loving on them. Beyond that, however, is the opportunity to get out of my American bubble and see life in a different context. I am grateful for my blessings, but I don’t want to forget that they are not guaranteed.
Some question the value of a short-term missions trip. I am grateful that my church has an on-going relationship with the orphanage we visit there, and that our trip is just part of that overall partnership. I know that my presence there will not make a tangible difference in the conditions these children have to live in day in and day out. I’m coming for a week, and then I get to come back home and live a life of relative comfort. I have no illusions that I am doing anything magnificent or special that makes me ultra-spiritual.
So I am not sure how to pray for this trip exactly. A few weeks ago I was having second thoughts. But I know that once I’m there I will be so glad I didn’t wimp out again. I just want to be realistic about my purpose there, and not expect the earth to move just because I went on a missions trip. Often I wonder if these trips are more for us than for the people we’re visiting. I wonder what kind of impact my presence will have in the lives of these young people. I can only place that in the Lord’s hands and let Him define it.
One thing I do hope is that this trip will give me a different perspective on the kingdom of God and my role in it. That all of the high drama, power grabbing and posturing currently happening in the American church will be put in its proper place in my heart and mind. God’s kingdom is larger than what is happening here in the US, and His purposes are beyond our understanding. My brothers and sisters are not just Americans – they are all who call on the name of the Lord. We Americans are not the center of the universe, and we American Christians are not the center of God’s Kingdom It will serve us well to grasp that truth willingly instead of being forced to accept it under duress. Unfortunately, I fear the latter will be necessary for us to open our eyes.
So I suppose I pray that my heart would widen and my vision become more expansive and I seek the Kingdom in my daily life. What that will look like when I return remains to be seen.
That is all for now…grace and peace…