As missionaries, we need to communicate. We’re away from many of our supporters for up to four years. Without newsletters, project updates, and prayer bulletins, the majority of our sponsors would be in the dark about the advances being made and the challenges that we face.
Still our need to communicate about what we are doing can leave the wrong impression. If we’re not careful about what we do, we can paint a misleading picture of how we are desperately needed and how the work couldn’t possibly go on without us.
While it’s certain that we serve to fill a need, the truth of the matter is that God has been working in the Yucatan far before the Godzwas came, and we believe He’ll still be at work long after we’re nothing more than a memory. What’s more, in the time that he has been at work, He’s raised up some amazing individuals with whom we not only have the chance to work but also from whom we have the privilege to learn.
A case in point was this week during our continuing education workshop for Bible school professors. During our sessions, I was constantly remind of the competence, concern, and spirituality of those who taught and those who participated. I was glad to be among them.
Over the past few days I’ve been working through the book, The Meeting of the Waters, by Fritz Kling. It speaks about the trends that shape the future of the church on a global scale. One of the 7 that he investigates is the trend of mutuality. Mutuality is basically empowering those traditionally marginalized because of ethnic or economic biases. It gives everyone a seat at the table and both voice and vote in the moment of decision. Certainly, it can be threatening to those of us in the Western World who have become accustomed to having the final say, but mutuality offers us a multicultural richness from which to borrow as we seek to guide the church, and it offers us creative solutions to difficult problems that we encounter along the way.
I’d hate to portray myself as having a handle on this concept. Even as I write these words I am reminded of the times that I have failed to offer my partners their due share in our decision making processes and times when I have been absent when I have had the ability to affirm the value and validity of their efforts. Still, this week, I feel as though I’m making progress.
My prayer then is that, as we operate more and more on the basis of mutuality, God will be able to more fully declare his manifold wisdom, the joining of many cultures into one functioning body, the church, through the church in Yucatan.