I have been thinking about evangelism, wondering how that continues in our new stateside life as we make the transition to our next assignment. I came across this article from Christianity Today Magazine as I was working on catching up with several lost months of reading. The article is titled, Evangelism, Without the Weird Aftertaste, and I was challenged and educated by a several sections. But one part that touched me a little more was his answer to a question, and I have reposted it below.
Many of us think of evangelism as something individuals do. What role does the body of Christ, as the community of faith, have in evangelism?
If you read the Great Commission and think, This is all on my shoulders, that’s really scary. I by myself can’t disciple all the nations. It’s freeing to realize you’re part of the body of Christ, and the whole body is called to invite people in.
God gives different gifts to different people, so that the whole body becomes a movement able to reach out and transform the world. What brings people into the body is not just a one-on-one relationship, but a community that immerses you into life with Christ together.
I am glad that we are part of the body of Christ. We have seen and experienced the body and how it supports itself as we arrived home to the US. We have seen it from our friends we left behind in Curahuasi. It is good to know that we are all in this together. We see how much our own country needs to know the love of Christ, and our family has seen the desperation of the lack of knowledge in the poor parts of Peru. God works in us to be his joyful evangelists of the good news, but we get the advantage of doing it through the community and body of Christ. And that is a relief.
I love life in the United States, but it often feels less interesting and harder to blog about. The following is what is up. We have spent several days getting the kids enrolled in school and they will all start next week. They are looking forward to it, and Allison and I are interested in seeing how they adjust to an American school setting again. Sarah has never gone to school in the US. Annie went to kindergarten and Peter up to first grade. David has had the most experience in the US, attending school up until the third grade. I attended a Basic Life Support class yesterday, and I will soon be taking Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support classes. In the middle of February I will take an Advanced Trauma Life Support class, and at the end of the month I will be attending a medical board exam review course as I prepare to sit for my exams again in April. I am going to try and do some part-time work in a few clinics and ERs, and I am currently working through those applications. Allison may do some substitute teaching as well. We are still praying about the future, and with that in mind I will have a few permanent job interviews in the upcoming weeks as we weight staying in the United States against continuing in missions at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. I feel like God has given us many good options, and we are trusting him to lead us in our decision. Fortunately, it does not feel like there is a mistake to be made, and that is a blessing. Please pray with us as we consider where God would place us, and please pray for our kids as they start school in the upcoming week.
We are in Dallas, but still getting things in order. Please pray for us as we adjust to a new normal in the great state of Texas. We are thankful to be here, and we are looking forward to what the next steps may be. (I love seeing small Sarah leaning out waving next to Allison way in the back in the picture below. Can you find Annie waving behind Peter’s arm. And I am not sure who David is waving at!) 🙂
Annie does not know what to think of this stranger hugging her for the photo!
Today we are on the road. We would sure appreciate prayers for safety, that our luggage would arrive without delay, that we would be emotionally stable amidst too many goodbyes and too much packing and traveling. Tomorrow, God willing, we will arrive to Dallas in the morning.
In 2013 our friend Lana Wisenbaker wrote us this note. It encourages us today in our time of transition. I have copied part of her letter with her permission.
I was particularly affected by your recent post, Will, on whether there was a harder field of mission you should be going to. I thought about that quite a bit, because to some degree every believer wrestles with that. As you said, the essential point is where God has called you; I guess the problem is often that we don’t trust this selfish flesh to hear Him. That’s why it is such a blessing that God is so faithful! He will keep calling to any heart that is seeking Him until we’re in the right place. I know how much you have prayed about your service in the kingdom – and many others have prayed for you – so I hope you have continuing peace about the “rightness” of Peru. Perhaps there is a change in the future for which He is stirring you now, but our gracious Father will make it plain. I have always treasured a remark made by Mother Teresa; when asked by a skeptical reporter what difference she could possibly make in a world of so much pain and death, she replied “God did not call me to be successful, He called me to be obedient.” I love the strength and faith in that remark! And of course the miracle is that God does incredible things with our obedience! Isn’t that amazing that He lets us be a part of that?
It is amazing and we rest well in his faithfulness.
Doing stuff like as we try and clear out before heading to the US!