Coming to the Ukraine I was faced with many questions. But the one that occured the most, of course, was this, "What will you be doing there?"
I had a few stock answers based off the only information I had:
focuing upon youth, but heavily involved in family ministry. oh and possibly teaching english in a school.
you see whenever people go on short term missions there is usually a list of to-do's.
so when I only gave a list of a few things and then proceeded to tell that I was planning on staying for 5 months I got some funy looks every now and then.
but I'm not on a short term mission. I'm on a short long term mission I guess.
I kind of don't like calling it that actually. I don't even like to say that I'm on a mission because of what people expect to come along with it.
I didn't come to have an agenda and check off my list. I came here to be here. I am living in the Ukraine. And I realize something now. I don't want to call it a mission because in reality I should be on the same mission here as I should be every single day of my life whether it be here, there, or anywhere.
David A. Livermore put it very simply but beautifully.
"our eternal mission as people-to reflect God's glory to the world."
to me this is both humbling and encouraging.
humbling because it reminds me that I can't actually do anything but be used by the Father.
encouraging because it reminds me that though I can do nothing Christ can still use me.
God's idea for us isn't to plan, plan, plan but rather to be.
to be His temple that allows His reflection to be seen.
to be His obedient children that always give Him glory.
to be witnesses of the power of Christ.
to be the love that He first showed us.
no, I am not saying that we stop plannin events or having agendas.
however, they do need to come second in importance.
if we are first making sure to step into His glory then we will be able to reflect it.
because it's way too easy to get caught up in the planning and doing while forgetting about the reflecting. but if we first make sure to reflect, then it will carry into all things.
so yeah, some of my days here aren't filled with "ministry outreaches" but every conversation, action, attitude, and way of handling things is an opportunity to reflect God's glory.
that's what I am attempting to do here. that's my new answer to the question.
I am filling my days by trying to empty myself.
empty myself of all the things that take glory away from Christ so He can fill my life with Him oveflowing. and I get to do this in different ways on different days. sometimes it is simply to my host family while other times it is to a society of blind people.
the agenda doesn't determine the "mission"
my God does.
Susie Larson wrote something that, to me, goes along with this very well.
"What kind of change could be affected in our world if we, as Christ's followers, had lines we wouldn't cross no matter what anyone else was doing or saying? If we could remain kind while others are cruel, if we could keep from hating while others do dreadful things-are there any bounds to what the Lord could do through us?"
if that wouldn't reflect God's glory I'm not sure what would.