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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On The Way

When you go to bed at 12:30 AM, 3:45 AM comes around really fast! The good news is everyone for the trip to Ethiopia remembered their passport and a clean change of underwear. Other than that, I'm not sure and I'm not asking!

I am sitting in Dulles International Airport in Washington DC. In another hour we will be boarding our flight to head to Frankfurt, Germany - our next stop. That flight is a little longer than the 4.5 hour flight from Sacramento to DC. From Frankfurt we will fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with a brief stop in Sudan.

As the team sat at dinner, discussing our experiences and expectations so far, we all agreed that what greets us will be vastly different than what we have been trying to imagine. For me, that is a part of the wonderful adventure of the trip. It really does cause us to trust in Jesus more than we normally do, when faced with the mysteries of life.

Dan Zacher sat beside a young woman who was questioning him about our trip. She asked him if we are conservative baptist people. From her question, it was obvious that it was not a good thing to be a conservative baptist person. I think it was safe to say that her question came out of some negative experiences and woundedness that still remained.

As we discussed how to respond to a question of that sort I shared with the team that those kinds of questions can have a tendency to put us on our heels. My response to her question would have looked something like this:
"We are a group of people who are trying to follow Jesus and to become more like Jesus. The thing that guides us in our understanding of who Jesus is (not was) and what he wants from our life is the Bible. We are honestly seeking to do what Jesus said was most important - to love God and love other people. What has been your experience of Jesus?"
We all have boxes we try to put people in so we can understand them. This young woman had a negative box and she was trying to figure out how we fit in that box. the thing I love about following God is he is the master "Box Smasher." Just when we think we have it all figured out, God reveals more of himself that makes us run and hide or run to him and embrace even more of his fullness. And then we have to once again admit we don't have God totally in our box.

One thing I am sure of - this trip will be a box smashing journey. We will see and experience God in ways we never dreamed of. Here is the really cool thing - you don't have to go to the other side of the world to have your box smashed! Every time you step out in a new way to trust God, your box will stretched, reshaped and possibly smashed! That is a good thing. We can't become more like Jesus without coming to know Jesus more deeply.

There is something I am clear on. On this trip I will receive much more than I will give. That's the way God works - you can't outgive him. But it is always an adventure to try!

As we travel on our journey across the world to serve God and people, I pray you will embrace your journey and walk across the room, the office or the street so you can see God in new ways too.

Tell you what - I'll pray for you as you pray for me. Only through God's power are we able to accomplish God's purposes.

More later...



ET said...

You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Be safe and Spirit-led as we do the same here with God's incredibly, loving grace!

rhythmic-soul said...

Yes you are in our thoughts and prayers...(I feel a "what was your name again" joke here but I'll resist).

I think Dan should have excused himself by saying "hold thy tongue harlot,for my conservative baptist doctrine prohibits men and women from such verbal exchange".

Anonymous said...

It is so cool that you are blogging during your trip. There are so many things that happen and you are writing about while its happening. We are praying for you all. God's peace be with you!

Lester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry Rascon said...


Categorizing always produces reduction in true complexity!