The month of June was very busy. On the first day of June I woke up in Kosice, Slovakia where I was visiting Jon and Tanya Parks, CBF Field Personnel to the Roma. I was taking part in a mission immersion trip they had put together as well as scouting out the possibility of taking a team from South Carolina to visit them in June of 2016 (go here for more information).
After a full and meaningful week and a half, I arrived home on June 8, but June 15 came quickly and my family and I took off for CBF Global’s General Assembly in Dallas. If you follow me on Facebook, then you know that trip took a slight detour, being stuck in New York City for a day, but that is another story for another time.
Once we made it to Dallas I got to take part in one of my favorite weeks of the year. I was privileged to see the commissioning of new Field Personnel to Cambodia, I met with old friends from the CBF offices in Decatur and from my time in seminary. I also got to meet new friends and hear of great work that is taking part around the world. It’s also a great time of networking, where I hope to have made connections that will make an impact here in South Carolina. It was also a humbling and encouraging experience seeing the response of love that was offered to our state during the hard days following the Charleston massacre.
Once the General Assembly wrapped up, my heart was full, but my trip wasn’t over yet. My family and I loaded up into a rental car and took off for the eight hour drive to Mission, TX to visit with future CBFSC partners who are doing work along the US-Mexico border. I had the privilege to learn from the ministry of Buckner International and Hearts4Kids in their work in the colonias, large, immigrant settlements along the border.
After about 1200 miles and over 20 hours in the car (Texas is a big state) we were back in Dallas and ready to fly home, this time without being stranded along the way! Now I’ve been back home for a while. I’ve had time to reflect some on these experiences, and even though it was one of my busiest months in a very long time, I’m energized and ready to serve the Kingdom with a renewed fervor.
See, at times when we spend too much time on our little patch of land, we begin to feel as if our work is isolated, or that it has no meaning. It’s easy to fall victim to the belief that there is more evil in the world than good, and that our work is seemingly in vain. We hear news of shootings, of war, of hunger, and of poverty. The pain and heartache of the world seems to eclipse any good we were hoping to achieve.
Over this month, though, I’ve had the privilege of being witness to sightings of the Kingdom, those times when we realize that for all the evil in the world God is at work through faithful people bringing about good.
For every Roma who is cursed in the street for their ethnicity, there are others working to build bridges and educate in order to put an end to such marginalization.
For every immigrant family trapped in poverty in a new and unfamiliar country that surrounds them with messages of hate and rejection, there are good, Godly people who are working to provide economic opportunity and to equip them to meet their basic needs such as reliable, safe shelter.
And for every person who feels alone in their search for meaning and purpose, there are church planters who are working tirelessly to start Kingdom minded communities that strive, together, to learn how to follow Jesus faithfully.
With every example I saw, I was reminded of the possibilities and potential of what can happen when God’s faithful community bands together to bear witness to the Kingdom in a world that so desperately needs it. That leaves me energized and hopeful for what can happen through us in South Carolina.