Polly and I are now in Colorado at the Mission Training Institute with thirty-seven other folk and many of their children all being trained, stretched and taught about the mission field. What an amazing gathering.
First off, I am the oldest in the group. There are a very few of us in out fifties and sixties. Most are young and in their twenties and thirties. There is an all pervading youthful energy and enthusiasm that makes this especially invigorating. From my years as a parish priest I know the value of youth and young adults. They are lively and enthusiastic, often vocal and ready to change the world. In the parish they were a minority usually and all too often “controlled” by the “elders.” Here they are the majority. Their contribution is awesome and we are only at the end of day one! There are going to be a full three weeks of this. My prayer is that I become young again in spirit. I know that my hair will still be grizzled and my body far less than youthful, but I pray to learn from them and be infected by their vibrancy.
We rode from the airport with a young man who is going to Afghanistan. He will be in a town in a valley where he wants to set up a bicycle shop, maybe even hold bike races. He will be joining other missionaries.
A couple – not much younger than us are going out to serve the Missionary Aviation fellowship to look after their computer systems in south central Africa.
A young woman is going to eastern China to work amongst Chinese Muslims. She will seek out a local “underground church” and they will become her team.
Most folk have to learn a new language, raise support and expect to spend a lifetime overseas. They will leave homes, careers, families, churches, all that is familiar and be “spliced” into a new culture where they will assimilate, raise children, bear children and God willing be witnesses to Jesus Christ in such a way as to win converts to Christ.
I am in AWE.
3 responses to “Mission madness – meaning, mad for mission”
Youthful energy is so energizing. With your age, experience and wisdom, I daresay you will learn much from each other.
Enjoy the fresh invigorating mountain air of the Rockies. I have many fond memories of my youth growing up along the front range in Denver, Colorado Springs and ultimately Boulder. What a perfect place to train for your missionary work.
We will be thinking of you and all the amazing experiences you will be a part of these three weeks at SPLICE. We were there in July 2008, and it impacted us greatly. Like you, we were some of the oldest, but there were about three other couples in our age group 🙂 We, too, were energized by the younger missionaries we met, and humbled by their commitment in going to some very difficult places to spread the gospel. We will be interested in hearing your reactions to some of what you will learn in the next weeks. Now we are here, we are finding we have forgotten some of the valuable lessons we learned there, and need a reminder now and then. We are excited to know you will be joining us very soon in Peru! Love and prayers, Gloria and Sandy
We are thrilled to be returning so soon – hopefully we can get together sooner rather than later.
Blessings – Ian