Thursday, February 23, 2006

Two Sides of Missions

This weekend we had a marathon “Field Leadership Team” set of meetings in Kosovo.  These are the meetings of our field’s team leaders and our boss and assistant boss.  The February meeting is particularly grueling because it’s when we hammer through the following year’s budgets, assign the mission fleet of vehicles, and do a lot of other plain hard work that makes the machine work.


But Sunday night we heard that three people had accepted Christ that night in our church service.  Two of them are fathers and “heads-of-households,” which is critically important in our context.  I was so incredibly pumped up. 


When people think of missionaries they think of preachers and prayers and other stuff.  They probably don’t think of logisticians, budget-eers, strategists and so forth.  Missionaries are all those things.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

it's the little things in life...

So I’m at the bank today, waiting to do some mission business.  I’m standing in line…quite a long line…waiting to submit my paper work and make a withdrawal.  I’m standing there with Reilly, who is growing impatient while Naim waits for me in what might charitably be called a “lobby.”  While I’m standing there telling Reilly, for the fourth time, that no, we are not finished yet I notice a mummer ripple through the line. 


Three men walk in, greet the security guard amiably and walk past the front of the line right to a teller who is helping someone else.  The leader is an older man in a dark brown leather jacket.  The two guys with him are obviously “muscle.”  Both are wearing leather jackets, on is very, very large and has pleasant face.  The other is very, very sharp and rarely takes his eyes off the door.  They intentionally flank the boss and all three regularly look up from what they are doing to scan the crowd.  After a little while they finished their business and left the way they came in, quickly.   About fifteen minutes later we left the bank, our business finished too.  I wondered who the three men were, and how they so casually disrupted the lives of so many who were waiting (relatively) patiently.


One more reminder that I’m not in Kansas any more.



Sunday, February 12, 2006

A young woman met Jesus today

Today we were up to church in Prishtina.  We haven’t made our way up there for several weeks and it was good to see all our friends and pastor Fehmi.  There were a number of news faces in the congregation, including one young lady who came with our friend F.  At the end of the service, after a great message on the love of God, F raised her hand.  She’d been whispering to her friend who had made it known that she wanted to meet Jesus today.  Fehmi invited the two of them to come to the front where he led the young lady to Christ, praying what we commonly call, “the sinner’s prayer.”

It was a great way to end the day.  People bringing their friends to meet the Master is definitely a New Testament model and one that is always fun to watch.  I don’t give you this young ladies name, but please be praying for one new light in one church in Prishtina.  Another child has come back to her Maker.

Thursday, February 02, 2006 other words, you stink.

The life of a missionary is one of constant humiliation.  Not humilation in the sense of shame or guilt but of being humbled.  I just got back from our weekly men’s Bible study.  I was excited because for we had one of those rare instances when a fully grown, head-of-household, visiting man came to our Bible study.  This is pretty significant in our context.  We’re studying our way through the book of Daniel because there are so many key lessons for men there…until we get to all the weird vision stuff anyway.

            So I poured my heart out of all the clever and insiteful things I could think of from Daniel chapter 5.  I stretched my poor Albanian language skills into the far abstract…and was corrected a number of times by our adult regulars.  Finally, we were finished.  Our visitor said he had enjoyed it, that it had been very interesting, etc.

            Then one of our most respected men spoke up.  “Oh, you should come on Sunday when Pastor Femi is preaching.”  It’s MUCH more interesting.


Oh well.  That’s the life of a missionary.