Aug 7, 2010

Seven Days and Counting: The Delight of Missional Living

Our ministry team leaves for East Africa in seven days
Christian ministry and missional engagement evoke delight and great joy in the heart of the called. There is no greater joy than knowing you are partnering with God to accomplish something extra-ordinary and life changing for someone and to so many people.

To know that Christ can use your little hands and your little feet; to know that cosmic powers heed and follow your fickle command when it is given in the Name of Jesus Christ that they are compelled to loosen their stranglehold on humanity; to know that human beings and communities can be transformed for eternity as you follow and obey Jesus.

  Sunday 8/1 we joyfully dedicated Samuel Jr. to the Lord during services at Westwood. We also cellebrated his seven month birthday :)
In fact the disciples of Jesus Christ found it so delightful that Christ felt it necessary to caution them against overly celebrating the outcomes of their powerful ministry (Luke 10:17-22). His concern was not that they would develop a sense of pride or self-aggrandizement. Nor was Christ out to minimize the impact of their work.

Indeed He celebrates with them and gives a magnanimous vantage to what really happened: "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning," He offers. "Behold I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you," He continues.

Jesus' real concern seemed to be that they maintain an eschatological vision. A vision of the Kingdom of God that extended beyond their current experience and power encounter and whose center is God Himself.

One of the highlights of these summer months was spending a week with members of my Global and Contextual Leadership doctoral cohort who come from all around the world at Bethel University, St. Paul for a time of intensive learning. 
Jesus' following exuberance is a perfect demonstration of this vision as He prioritizes revelation and relationship to God over power encounter and missional results; "I praise you O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight," He exudes in the Holy Spirit.

July 22-24th, Suzanne and I spent time with and ministered to about 170 international students from Africa from all around the United States at a retreat hosted by Mzizi Church Twin Cities at Camp Koronis in Payneville, MN.
This should additionally indicate to us that in fact the true measure of our missional success does not consist in our present computations, statistics, and perceptions. Rather, it is eschatologically assessed with God alone as the true judge of our impact.

The juxtaposition of the infants to the intelligent and their preference as custodians of divine revelation rather than the wise bespeaks of a different measuring stick and one which underpins the fact that God's business is always God's business. Ours as partners with Him is a privilege of amazing proportions.
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With just seven days left to go before our SWIM team leaves for evangelistic work to Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, and later to South Africa, we have spent the last few days in fasting, prayer, preparation and fundraising.  God continues to confirm to our hearts His intent to do great things through this outreach.  

Please pray with us and with the myriad churches we are working with in these multiple nations over the next 21/2 months that God's power will be clearly evident, transforming lives and establishing the order of the Kingdom in the lives of individuals and communities. 

Also pray for our funding.  We have raised so far 80% of our needed funds.  Seven days is a long time for God to provide for the remaining 20% ($ 10,200 difference.)  As you feel compelled to generously donate, visit our website http://www.swimministry.org/ or click the donate button on the right side panell of this blog page. 
     
Destination Butare, Rwanda August 20th-29th

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