“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”
--Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
The Doc was right. Great places await! But better than the places, I anticipate
great people. I haven’t met them yet,
but I’m praying for them. And God is
doing something in my heart. Though
we’re strangers, still, I love them. I
love them because they are responding to God’s call. I love them because they have a heart to see
people grow into all that God intended for them to be: spiritually,
emotionally, physically. I love them
because in God’s eyes they are people worthy of love – created in God’s
image. I love them because I hope to
make my home among them, to learn from them, and with them, as we seek to bring
Paul’s words to life: 2 Timothy
2:2 (NCV) “You should teach people whom you can
trust the things you and many others have heard me say. Then they will be able
to teach others.”
Who are “they/them?” “They” are the Karen people in and around the
hills and villages surrounding Chiang Mai, Thailand. They are a people with a storied past. I hope to hear those stories. They are a people with an unwritten
future. I hope to walk with them into
that future. They are a people who have
a long history with American Baptists, and with American Baptist missions in
particular. I hope to continue that
Who are “they/them?” They are the people who are sending us on
this journey. They are men and women who
love, serve, and worship in our American Baptist family. They are people who know people who know
people who have a desire to see the Kingdom of Christ grow and multiply. I make
my home among them. I am learning from them and with them as we seek to be a
part of what God is doing – together.
But, the Doc was
right. “And when you're alone there's a
very good chance, you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There
are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you
won't want to go on.” ? Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go! As I think about all that needs to happen
between now and the time I get a chance to put faces and names and stories to
the love that God has placed in my heart, I get a little…intimidated. There is a language to learn. Then there’s another language to learn. There’s a family to move halfway around the
world. There are adjustments to our
daily routine and the ways in which we think.
There are people to meet, places to go, and funds to be raised. There is a house, which has been the only
home most of my children have known, to be sold. There is “stuff” to sort through, give away,
sell, or pitch. And when we think about
all that is happening on this rollercoaster ride, it can get a little
intimidating – a little frightening. But
we know that God is with us. And we know
that God is inviting us to join Him on this adventure. So, we press on.
And I so desperately
desire for the people around me to catch this same passion for the Karen people
that they will naturally want to partner with God and with us and make all of
this happen…even faster. So, how do I
share that passion? I’ll continue to
tell my story. I’ll continue to pray,
both for the Karen people, and for those who might partner with us on this
journey. And I’ll continue to love
“them” – whether “them” is the people group to which God is calling us, or the
people group from which we are being sent.
Perhaps God is calling
you, too. Perhaps God is asking you to
give some of the resources with which He has blessed you, so that more Karen
can hear the good news of Jesus Christ, and be invited to live into all that
God wants for them. International
Ministries can help with that.
Now through the end of
June, there is a matching gift program happening! It is a great time to start on a journey,
giving to God, through International Ministries, on behalf of a missionary who
serves on behalf of the Church, so that we can partner together in this
adventure. Won’t you join us?