What. a. year. There was no better way to wrap up 2014 than with a grandiose Program 10 in Zambia! This program has confirmed that a new page is turning in the ministry we do with short & long term teams with our international partners. And I couldn’t be more geeked.
The point of missions, of outreaches, of mission trips is essentially to seek justice. And as we seek to do justice, we are continually posed with the question- what does this look like? What is justice. Justice is represented by the outcomes, the scenarios we are trying to eradicate or achieve. To see justice is to see kids with loving families, people without HIV, mothers full of joy, fathers without addiction, young girls not being taken advantage of, wives without fear of their husbands, people without hunger. These are all scenarios we focus on seeing happen- because the current situation is unjust. So to see justice is to see these situations removed.
Yet I am always caught up on the ‘how do we get there?’
Often our response is to fix whatever problem is in front of us. But what we are learning is to first be with Jesus. Let him change us first. Let him do a good thing in us before we go out and try to fix anything. Let him first show us what real life is before we try to share it with another. Let us be humbled. Let us be transformed. Let us be with him and in his presence so that we are overflowing with life. And then let us go and be with people. Just like Jesus. I always think about how Jesus just hung out with his disciples. All the time, he ate, walked, talked, dined, taught, fished. That man spent time with his bros. He had authority in relationship with those guys. They respected him. They knew him. He spent time with his people. He righted relationship. He represented love that would never fail or fade.
So this is what we did during this past program in December. We spent time with Jesus. We prioritized time with him. We dug in to our own lives with him. We got vulnerable with each other. We sought transformation in hearts and minds in our own teams first. And then we spent time in the homes in the community. And our God showed up:) He worked miracles, opening taps for water to flow for the first time in years. He healed a man who couldn’t raise his arms. He multiplied popcorn when we ran out at our celebration. He transformed through our testimonies. He increased the faith of those serving and those being served. He righted mindsets over what it means to be ‘a Christian’. He set up our long term volunteers in Zambia to go back to that community and follow up and continue in those relationships.
So this is how we seek justice. By believing if we know love that will never fade or fail, if we know relationship that is real, we won’t need unhealthy relationships, we won’t fear loneliness, we won’t have addition to fill holes, or mistreat our children. By knowing that true love leads us to act on behalf o each other. And this stems from what we believe about ourselves, our God and the people around us. And this is true for people no matter where we are from- no matter the depth of injustice stacked against us. Our God is greater and stronger. And we have full access to him. And relationship with him is the answer to all injustice. And we all have a story about Him to tell. And its going to change the world.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abby Phillips is the Program Architect of Poetice International.