International Ministries

Oh the Places You'll Go

May 21, 2013 Journal
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“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 connection.

 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?