This June, I’ll be heading to Fiji for a short term mission trip.
So far all I know is that we are helping them and they are helping us. Through door knocking, visiting people in gaol, helping them rebuild after a recent tropical cyclone and actually bringing resources with them, we will all be sharing Jesus in our own ways, while learning how churches are run in different contexts and how God works across His world.
I’ve been doing all I can to prepare for this. We were challenged not to use our own money to pay for our fees but rather raise everything through fundraising, so I’ve been organising a band night which is harder than it seems. This leads to explaining to my friends and complete strangers what mission is and why they should sow into it. That’s highlighted the gap between my Christian and non Christian friends- it’s strange how much the whole thing has forced me to realise how large or little a part Christ plays in my every day life, resisting the temptation to hide the fact that the money is primarily to spread a gospel some people don’t believe in themselves. But that’s the amazing thing, in a way- that I finally get the opportunity to involve people in something I’m really passionate about. While I tell people that the money goes to helping humanity in another country, I get to tell them the driving force- what would compel me to jump on a plane for a month and spend all of this time and energy- Jesus.
As we’ve been studying the culture and people of the place we are going to go and visit, I’ve been challenged by the differences, experiencing culture shock before I’ve even left home. Mission is great because it’s a chance to go and see. Go and interact with another culture where the need is just as real for Christ and good solid churches. The culture may be different, but the people are still, in many ways, the same. I’m interested to see what differences and similarities I’ll find in their families, churches, homes.
I’ve been thinking of the verse where Paul says “faith without works is dead”. We are clearly called to go when it comes to being Christians. Not keeping the amazing news of salvation and love and grace and mercy to ourselves but spreading it around. While that is significant for our own every day contexts, Jesus also called us to spread his message to the ends of the earth and mission is a great way to do both. You can start conversations with the people around you as you think about the people you are going to start conversations to with people overseas. It’s a great way for the people around you to get involved as well as they can practically donate and pray for you.
I am preparing to go and get my hands dirty- I’m excited to go and do something practical when so often it can seem like I sitting on my hands.
And so I am called to go.