04 February, 2008

Opportunities...

Hey friends.

To be brief…

I am in the process of talking with an organization in Colorado that works with Dalits in India. I am thinking about trying to go for a long-term (9 months – 1 year!) volunteer experience over there to see if India is a place I can give my heart to, if I’m strong enough to dwell in the midst of the kind of evil I want to confront daily, and if I can actually relate to the people. But that would mean (I feel) leaving DC, leaving WHI, and starting down a road I am unfamiliar with.

OR

WHI is taking a team to Cambodia for 10 days in November. I would love to go. I know that’s a “long way away” but maybe it would be good to go sit in an aftercare center for 10 days and be in a place where sex trafficking is so prevalent and overwhelming.

I need prayer. I am becoming more and more anxious to move into the aftercare field but I am feeling stuck because of education, funds, and opportunity. I don’t know which one to pursue – though I feel I can’t do both – and who knows maybe neither would work out…but if you could pray. Nothing is really going on now, and I will keep you updated if that changes.



Beyond that, I just finished this book "The Bishop of Rwanda." It's about a bishop (go figure!) who was in Rwanda during the genocide. He went back and is now a major mover for peace and reconciliation in the country.

The book, beyond being heartbreaking - goes to the root of what caused the genocide (satan) and what can be the only thing to heal that land (God's amazing grace).

A lot of the books I've just happened across recently speak to the need for us as Christians to stop playing church and be the church. I don't know what that looks like - but I know it involves movement. Love cannot be done sitting down... And I know that the church is this awful, flawed thing - but the church is made of flawed, awful people and the only way we're going to see change in that is if we start being the change we want to see. The institution of the church (which is different than God's church) is wrong most of the time, and misuses scripture to cover a plenitude of sins. It hurts people, turns away when it should stand, and stands when it should shut-up. But God's church - the upside down, last will be first, take your cross and your yoke and struggle after HIM to give all you have to love your neighbor and create a little more joy this world so we can bring His kingdom come today on earth- is one of action, love and humility.

To see the tax collectors, prostitutes, and the hurting we have to take a step outside of our suburban comfort and ask to have our eyes stripped so we can see those around us. It's about getting over the deafening noise of busyness, materialism, routine - to ask how we can be used today. We have to strip the calloused from our hearts, we have to pull the armor from our ears, the blinders from our eyes - until we can laugh and dance and cry with this amazing, and yet seriously screw-up, creation we find ourselves in. So, we can either get lost in the fray and say to hell with it all - or we can realize that Jesus changed people one person at a time, and just like we like to be considered an individual and have someone take time to really SEE us - we can do that for someone else - for a lot easier then we want to believe.



I wanted to share some quotes with you. I think that whatever place we're in - as we interact with those around us these words are good bases to start from. I wish I could process this book more and in a succinct way - but I am still trying to sort through what he (John Rucyahana) had to say in light of what's going on in my head... Some of which I sputtered about above. sorry.

Anyway - quotes!

People said that the bishop didn’t see the need for a new church. I replied, “No, I see it, but God does not want me to make the building a priority. I’m building the church by building schools. I’m building the church by repairing the hospital. I’m building the church by taking care of remote areas where children have nothing and we are losing a generation of youths. Therefore, I’m building the church first. Then, after I've built the church, I will build the building (p. 214-5)

When I get a vision for something, I test it. Who are the beneficiaries? Is this vision meant for me or for the people? Do the people need it? Who’s going to be lifted up? Is it in the name of God and the people? Is it for my own aggrandizement? Who does this vision serve? If I realize the vision will benefit the people and the glory will go to the Lord, I know God will bless it. (p. 216)

Those of us in leadership in the churches must move beyond the superficial and not be afraid to address the real needs of the people. God will provide in those areas, too. I have seen it. If God gives us a vision, we must have the courage to follow it. If we do, God will see it through to completion. (p. 219)

Our goal is not to have big, religious churches, but to have a Christian community of believers who put their faith into practice. Christianity is not another philosophy. It is life. I smile it. I speak it. I live it. I relate it to other people… It is about new life and freedom – the freedom to love others the way God loves us, the freedom to forgive and the freedom to be forgiven… Only Jesus can turn hearts and minds from hate to love, from sorrow and pain to freedom and joy. Because we know that, we are no longer about pleasing the world or pleasing people with money or power. We are about pleasing Christ, because that is who our healing comes from. (p.201-2)

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