Friday, May 27, 2016

Two months and Counting

Two months until what?

Until I go to Peru. I’m going with TCWM to Trujillo, Peru, to work with…whatever it is they tell me to work with. I’m going to spend a couple of weeks meeting people, talking about Jesus, and hopefully doing a bit of preaching.

Why Peru?

A couple of reasons: First, Dr. Julio Montalvo (see here) is from Peru. He honored us with a visit, and I’d like to return the favor. And, we need to get started as a church being involved in spreading God’s Word to the world. So a trip to one place where we already know one person seemed like a good start.

Second, there is a strange dynamic that is common in churches. Churches that are stagnant in their communities often don’t know how to get started—but then as they partner with the people of God around the world to reach other communities, we start to see how to reach our own community. It’s as if our creative nature stalls out, or worse, our compassion fails us, and we don’t really try that hard.

That is one of my hopes for going to Peru. That I will come back more engaged with the task of reaching the lost. And by extension, I can help the body of Christ that is East End Baptist Church to go forward doing the same thing.

And we will, hopefully, see a few return trips. The last thing I’m interested in developing is sanctified tourist trips. We can help people use their normal tourist trips in a sanctified manner. That’s not the purpose of a church mission trip. A “mission trip” should be one of two things: establishing a base to share the Gospel of Jesus in a place where no one is doing so or working with Christians in an area to help them reach their people.

In other words, I’m not going to Peru in hopes that I’ll be the one who brings the Gospel to Peruvians. Certainly I hope to do some of that. But my real intention is to help churches in Peru however it is they need and want help to reach their own community. Why? I’m not planning on living in Peru. Although it does have great coffee and I like what I see about the climate…

Why not some other places? Honestly, we still have other spaces I want our church involved on mission. Honiara, Solomon Islands, is tops on the list. Our church can be more involved in some stateside areas. We have friends in work in Southeast Asia, in Europe, and Africa.

I still want to see our family involved in Eastern Europe. (My dream tourist trip is Ireland/Scotland, but I’m sure we could find some practical stuff to do there.) I have a hunger to return to Lawrence, Kansas, (and surrounding areas) for ministry work. I’m not even sure why.

So this isn’t the end. It’s a beginning. I’ll chronicle some of that journey here.

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