Thursday, May 17, 2012

Believing without Seeing

"Seeing is different than being told." African Proverb

We try to prepare our teams going to Africa as well as we can. Words and pictures cannot convey some parts of the journey.

Words do not adequately describe what it is like to sit down with kids who have never had new clothes, who have never wondered if they will have enough to eat, who have never sat on a toilet that flushed or ridden in a car or used a computer or watched a TV.

Words fall short when you try to explain the life of pastors who have never been to a Bible college or seminary or to a bookstore to buy a commentary. How do you describe the life of a pastor who shepherds a congregation who barely has enough food or water for themselves, much less something to pay the salary of a pastor or the upkeep of the church?

We can't adequately express the grace and gratitude of people who have no formal training in etiquette or diplomacy. Breaking down the barriers of preconceived ideas is impossible when those ideas have never risen to the level of consciousness. Most of us assume a lack of education means a lack of intelligence or desire to learn. Just a few minutes of teaching and interacting with our African brothers and sisters exposes and defeats those assumptions. More unknown assumptions lie in the minds of the average Christian in the U.S.

Those who sign-up for this journey go by faith - faith that God has called them, faith that He has given something to share, faith that He will provide the funds, the health, and the strength to complete the journey.

For us, one of the most exciting parts of this mission trip will be these eight people experience God in a new way, see the Kingdom from a larger perspective, and grow in their knowledge of Him.

 When we go, we expect the unexpected. We believe that God has gone before us; the unexpected for us is not new information for Him. We pray and plan but are assured that His ways are higher than our ways. We want to make a difference in the life of one less fortunate but we know that our lives will be the ones that are changed the most.

"Put simply, faith is believing in something you haven't seen."

                                     John MacArthur