Monday, January 02, 2006

My Three Favorite Stories

In light of George Verwer's recent challenge that everyone that considers themselves a mobilizer get busy speaking about such things, I've been thinking about the most significant missions experiences I've had.

Mostly these are just for my own notes. But if you ask me to speak to your team, I might use one or all of these. Just act like its a new story you have never heard before.

1 - ESL class in Brooklyn, summer 2004
* Your English is probably the best skill you never realized you had
Most Americans don't understand what a skill they have in knowing how to speak English.
* Global migration to the cities, in other countries there are a lot of people that want to talk to Americans.
Two guys who had literally just gotten off a plane from Bangladesh a few days before. They had no idea what anything was in English.
Mt 10 - Jesus tells the disciples to go in pairs, town to town.
Heal the sick, raise the dead, drive out demons.
My story is not about the role of the miraculous, but it is about making such a huge difference in lives by simply teaching English - it is a miracle - teaching someone who just arrived in this country to at least get around a little bit.
Also - a Muslim cleric, who brought his wife and daughter, could not understand why someone would be doing this for free.

2 - FF in Brasil, summer 2005
* natural friendships and connections - oikos - home, household, family, friends, neighbors, associates
* person of peace - Acts 10
* the Gospel is not about addition, but about multiplication
The Gospel needs to take time and needs to be cultivated in natural connections and relationships. When FF comes to Christ, there will be an explosion of believers from her natural connections/family/etc. And it will be due to some fantastic people who have befriended her and her family, not so she can become a Christian, but just to be ... friends.
Person of Peace - spiritually open and/or searching, friendly, hospitable (oh how hospitable - sick BB), influential, good reputations.

3 - Dominican Republic, 1994 (in not so good ways)
* context and culture are important
Acts 17 - Paul in Athens. Knew about the specific culture and context of those to whom he was speaking.
live among the culture - keeping in mind context and culture are important
You cannot distance yourself from the culture and its context. My team had inherently set ourselves apart by our location, lodging specifics.
Remember, you are showing up late to a meeting. God has been at work among these people long before you arrived! (Short Term Missions Workbook)
lived in an American compound in another country
didn't capitalize on relationships
PM in AZ - skate park, reaching skaters with skaters - part of culture

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