Sunday, August 8, 2010

Why I Go

Tomorrow I head back to Malawi, Africa, where I will be furthering Flood's ministry with a church plant in the capital city.  This is my 9th visit to the continent. Working with the local church, I will be researching new initiatives for 2011 including a human rights clinic, an intern exchange program, micro-finance projects and malaria prevention.  I am deeply saddened by the thought of leaving Corrie and Eva behind. Even if it is just for a few weeks, I am not looking forward to saying goodbye. To help extinguish my guilt, and possibly to inspire a few of you reading this, I came up with some reasons for why I go.

I go because I love to travel. Not the only reason, or the most important reason, maybe even a shallow reason, but nonetheless, this is a reason why I go. Though it's a long journey, I have developed rigorous methods to cope with the 20+ hour flight (thank you Tylenol PM and wine served on international flights!) and learned how to "sometimes" score upgrades into business class. I'm fascinated by different perspectives and cultures, and feel like I have been given skills to quickly navigate through differences to find common ground.

I go because it's my job. In 2005, I was asked to go to Malawi by my church. Since then I have been back every year. One of my roles is to not only support our partnerships in Africa, but to create unique opportunities for others to go. It is exciting to see people take huge steps of faith and sacrifice to help others. There are many different reasons why I love being a pastor, but getting to see others grow in this way tops the list!

I go because I give a damn. We all know there are problems in the world. There are issues of oppression and poverty. There are those, simply because of where they happen to be born, have much, and those who have very little. In college I studied sociology and enjoyed the challenging thoughts and discussions in and outside the classroom. Over the past several years, I have had the opportunity to move beyond stimulating conversation to tangibly helping the problems. Corrie and I have spent many nights talking around the dinner table about ways we can make a difference. At times, we get overwhelmed and discouraged, yet we keep reminding ourselves ... if we don't go who will? We have the means, the education and the opportunity to help others, so we do. We can't do everything, but we can do something. 

Lastly, I go because my momma told me to. Seriously. When I was in 4th grade, my mom and I were dropping my sister off in San Francisco so she could head back to college. We spent the day seeing the sites and hopped back in the car to head home. On the drive back my mom shared the story of Jesus with me. How He came to this earth to show us how to live. How He died for us. And how He rose again, proving that He was the Son of God and worthy to be followed. With out being pushy, she simply told me about Jesus and asked me to consider beginning a relationship with God. That night, I got in my bed, and began to talk to Jesus for the first time and decided that I wanted to follow Him for the rest of my life. Little did I know how big of an impact that decision would have on my life and where God would take me.

Because Christ has called me to be His child. 
Because Christ has called me to live generously and compassionately. 
Because Christ gives me hope and freely offers hope to the world. 
Because Christ has called me to utilize everything He made me to be, for His glory, I go.

I'll be back Tuesday, August 24th.

To see a more detailed trip itinerary click here. My team and I would appreciate your prayers while we are away ... and so would Corrie :)