he’s got the whole world

Africa is not a mess.  It’s a home to many people and a place God closely watches and participates in daily.  It’s a place He loves, not only because it is his nature to love, but because people are so broken that they pray a lot more than in other areas.

 

Africa isn’t a problem we need to fix—it’s a people we need to love and learn about and recognize as fellow brothers and sisters.  Some people recognize this already but others seem to think the entire continent is some other world that deserves our prayers and funds at Christmas.

 

By all means, send funds to the right programs.  But Africa doesn’t just need money.  It needs capable leaders who can shine a little bit of light in and change the parts that are bad, while keeping the parts that are beautiful and endangered but worthy to be protected.

 

Westerners and Africans here are making enormous strides in reducing the pain and anguish of poverty.  They are equipping local pastors, educating students, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and healing people in hospitals.  As much as I hope to see African leaders rise up in honesty and truth to change the corruption, pray for their people and establish peace, there is a really long way to go before the world can check out entirely.

 

I said something really really dismissive and cutting today.  It probably injured two people I said it to.  I was still pondering things about my future and what it looks like in regards to jobs, location, service…and you know how I can be…saying things before I think.

 

I talked about my new conviction to sponsor native missionaries.  I left out the part where I appreciate everything the international missionaries here are doing for Christ  I skipped the part about the significance of educated Westerners implementing programs, feeding students, preaching and planting.  I didn’t recognize the sacrifice of those who have been here and stayed here and drained every amount of energy loving people and changing things.

 

My recent experience reading about the need for nationals to step up and change their own countries has been a topic of conversation, a train of thought that never really gets to the station, and a source of confusion and interest.

 

The statement I made about wanting to sponsor native missionaries should’ve been followed up by a comment about how I currently support and love international missionaries too. As much as we’d like to see Africa stand strong in the near future without outside aid, the plan is currently to continue helping the helpless until we hear other instructions.

 

I’ve had trouble recently explaining to my own soul that God has promised things to me and he never breaks his promises.  And I’ve had a tricky go at understanding the Great Commission in 2009.

Current questions: Supporting foreign missionaries vs. national missionaries vs. kids and education?  Salary vs. raising support? Fulltime ministry vs. business/corporate world?  Ph.D vs. marriage and parenting?  Wait.  Why choose?

 

Here’s what I am finally seeing: the Holy Spirit isn’t some “ooh-wee-ooh-wee-ooh-wee” thing who shows up at youth conferences and emotional weekend retreats.  He is GOD himself.  And he lives in us.

 

He makes the decisions.  He makes the way.  He provides rest, funds, safety, ideas, knowledge, patience, success, smiles, food, water, sun, rain, vacations, sunrises, joy, communication and stability.  I’m thankful he’s letting me and my friends here help out.  I’m more thankful than I’ve expressed for the fruit I’ve seen and the love they show—because instead of talking about how sad it is, something actually was started and actually saved lives.  Sure, there are some things only an African person can do to reach their community.  But there are other things only Westerners can do.  And then, to blow up the whole idea, God can do anything he wants with anyone he decides to use.  So Africa is in His hands and I’m not worried. 

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “he’s got the whole world

  1. Thanks for the encouraging post! I catch myself in those false dichotomies all the time. God is bigger than either/or.

  2. Tim

    Great post. Yeah, like Matt said, God is bigger than either/or.

    I also feel that there is probably a number of things that Africans can teach us Westerners too.

  3. Patrick

    I always enjoy how you put thoughts to paper (or to the net in this instance). You are so right in what you expressed here. I have only been to Africa for less than a week and it radically altered the course of my life. I have been praying for 3 years about returning and He finally open the flood gates and it will be so incredible to be there for a month.

    You are right in thinking that it doesn’t need to be an either/or when deciding to support native missionaries or international ones. International missionaries just need to realize that in this latest missionary movement they have to take on a different role. Once they realize that they are most needed in a support role as supporters, teachers and disciplers they will be far more effective in this latest round of world missions.

    I praise the Lord for you Becca. You continue to inspire me. I pray for you often and I don’t tell you all of this nearly enough (ok, like never). You are a special and amazing person and God has things in store for you that most people will never dream of doing. God bless and be safe.

    Patrick

  4. Robert Chandler

    Becca,

    This post is beautiful in its composition, but moreso in its message reflecting your growing understanding, maturation and enlightenment. I am moved by your words and also inspired by your growth. You are so young, and have much to experience along your journey – but you are an example to me and others of someone who has chosen to “live” and not just exist or stand along the sidelines. You are going to have a rich and fulfilling life, filled with disappointments and successes.

    But you are certainly headed in the right direction and will learn, learn, learn.. that is our mission number One here on Earth.

  5. thats really deeep!! couldnt be said any better!
    Be blessed 🙂

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