Friday, July 18, 2014

Missions. I need you.

I just read my last post which was almost two years ago.  Once again, I am home from a journey across the world.  My feelings are much the same.  One day I'm in Malaybalay with dear friends and spending time in a community that is filled with much poverty, and the next day I'm back in the United States.  How is it possible that both worlds exist?  One where people struggle daily to bring rice to their families table and the other where people have so much excess they know not what to do with it.  The easiest thing for me to do now is to forget my time in the Philippines; to forget the deep ache's and cries of the poor.

I can't.  I won't.

I close my eyes and I am at Tata's house visiting with her and listening to her concerns for her hungry children, seeing her tears from the moment to moment weight of feeding her family, praying with her to a God that she knows much more intimately than I ever will.  Give us this day our daily bread...she relies on Him to provide.  I was there for a blink of the eye and was blessed to be an answer to her pleadings.  I know that I was not sent to help her, but rather, for her to help me.  Wow, to have that kind of faith; to be starving and trusting that God hears your pleadings and will provide.  To know that He is good, gentle, provider, Father, lover and friend.  I am humbled.  I am challenged.  I am disgusted at my lack of faith and trust in my Lord.  I needed the visits with Tata and the many others that I was privileged to visit with.
Tata and two of her girls

Now, don't get me wrong about my friend Tata.  Yes she and her family suffer daily, but that doesn't stop her from being joyful.  While I visited, we didn't only talk about the struggles of life.  We talked about her beautiful children.  She proudly boasted about her eldest and how intelligent she is.  She shared that her daughter never wants to absent for school and at the end of each year, she gets many awards for her academics.  In the visits we laughed together.  We shared life.

I needed this trip to the Philippines more than I knew.  I have been living in the United States for almost two years now, after two years spent in foreign missions.  In the years I've been back, I've gotten very comfortable.  I've slacked on my prayer time, treating it like a duty to be checked off of my list, rather that a precious time set aside to be with my Savior and allow Him to speak to me and breathe life into me.  I've found it easy to put my earphones in and ignore the world around.  I've fallen into laziness choosing not to serve those around me.  I've spent more time being confused about which direction to go than I'd like to admit.   I'm so thankful for God's mercy and seventy seventh chances.  This trip has reawakened me.

Returning from the Philippines this time I can choose to live the life of a missionary, the way I know the Lord is calling me.  He isn't calling me this time to sell everything I own and move across the world.    He is, however, asking me to take the earphones out and acknowledge the world around me.  He is asking me to share life with others and to live a simple life of a missionary.  He is calling me closer to Himself and I am choosing to obey this time.  I am thankful for His great love and that He hears the prayers of His people.

Not one of us is ever forgotten by Him.