Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Tale Begins... Again

We find ourselves in a familiar place. We have done this before, this missionary thing. It has been said, "Once a missionary, always a missionary."

Many days that statement can be a blessing and some days it seems to be a curse. Though it is usually only a curse when one tries to avoid it. To embrace it is to be blessed.

Oh, the blessings! If life is a journey, and it is, then the way a missionary takes is marked with mountain tops of the highest kinds, preceded by valleys of the lowest.

Very few days are forgettable, leaving either landmarks or scars, but whether one or the other, they somehow seem precious when placed in the hall of memories. They are memorials all, times when victory came through blessing, or victory came through breaking.

We could speak of the wonderful people we were privileged to work with there. Or how many were filled with the Holy Ghost, that never ceased to thrill. We could talk of how easy it is to make a difference in a person's life, a time when $100 turned a pastor's life around or a pair of shoes given to a minister's wife brought tears of joy, or the coat of paint on the little concrete walled church brought on a community celebration. These and more, are some of the joys about missionary life. But they aren't what we miss the most.

The greatest benefit of living that life is the rhythm. (It may sound strange to read, it even sounds strange to write, but it is true nonetheless.) The rhythm of sacrifice and blessing. The constant contrast between what you don't have, and what God provides.

It is the soul nourishing dance that is forced upon you when faith is your walk, and feeling after God is your sight. It is the delicious savor of the harmonizing flavors of human need and divine provision.

Missionary life is the hardest and the best. It is the most disappointing, and the most thrilling. Reaching, saving some and loosing some, weeping and laughing... it is the surprising reward that comes when you give up something good and miraculously gain something so much better.

The rhythm of leaving and gaining, and doing it again tomorrow, and again the next day.
The rhythm of saying, "I can't, but He can." What an addicting intoxication!
So here we are again. Some may get weary of our going, but don't blame us.

This is simply our rhythm.
Written by Jeff

Young girl being delivered in the Philippines-Jeff took this clip