The “end of the spear” is found not in distant lands but inside all of us.
How blessed am I that missions is part of Ryan’s life and that after spending 10 days with us in Kenya in the Spring he made the decision to spend three months with us. I, the Kenya team and Partners for Care are better because of his decision. Blessed to know Ryan, Connie
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The End of the Spear
By the end of next week, two months will have passed and the final leg of my adventure will have begun. Admittedly, the past few weeks have not quite lived up to “adventure” standards. I am learning that not all mission work is ripped from the scenes of “The End of the Spear.” My assumption that dodging warlords and wild animals was an everyday occurrence for missionaries in Africa has proven to be slightly over-romantic. The past few weeks have been spent in an area of missions that has not been portrayed in a blockbuster-the office. Sadly, Monday mornings, even in Kenya, feel like, well, Monday mornings. Days have been filled with office work, reading over manuals, and writing tentative projects. One such project has taken up most of my time as of late, a brief manual for creating successful short-term mission trips. During the course of writing this manual, my mind has wandered around the arena of missions and why its serves as an integral part in my life.
“The front lines of the great spiritual battle:” this is the proclaimed world of missions. Personally, as I sit in this office and type this update, I do not feel as though I have traveled from my home to some sort of battle ground. While the experiences I have had during the course of the last few months have been different, and at times exciting, in many respects life is pretty much the same here as in Georgia. Going to the market in Nairobi, while different, seems like no more of a battle ground than a Wal-Mart. Like I said, Mondays are Mondays. Being a part of a “great battle” is not what really drives me in this endeavor.
“Missions: serving the Lord.” For many people, this might be the true reason I am sitting in the middle of Africa-to be of a service to the Lord. Sounds like a good reason enough, but if there is anything that I have learned it is this: #1 the Lord does not need my service and #2 I do not get any closer to heaven from sitting in Kenya instead of Georgia. In the end, it is neither my service nor actions that provide the inspiration that I require to be here.
Warfare, service, and actions aside, I am so interested in missions because it is the mirror reflection of me and my contents. Everything about missions-the great works, the horrible tragedies, the orphan infected with AIDS, the fervent pastor, the life, the death-all are the grand scale version on what churns inside of me. Seeing a starving child in a slum is no different than looking inward at the depths and corners of my own situation. For me, this is the beauty of missions. Witnessing the ugly side of humanity in Africa reveals the ugliness that is me. And being a part of something good reveals what resides in me. This is why missions play such an important part in my life. It is something I choose to participate because I can witness the “first faint gleam of Heaven already inside of me,” as C.S. Lewis writes. The “end of the spear” is found not in distant lands but inside all of us.
It is this “personal” view of missions that causes excitement because it means that we all have a place in its world. Shift your view of the “mission field” from something that rages in distant wild, untamed lands to something that churns inside the wild, untamed parts of yourself. I think, through this change in perspective, you might feel the importance of missions and begin to discover that the “mission field” is not limited to adventures in Africa, it is something that can be found anywhere… yes, even on Monday mornings.
Serving Christ in Kenya,
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org