Sunday, June 12, 2005

Random Midnight Thoughts

Education is a transfer of a way of life. There's something to be said for how Joanna's gone about this missionary endeavor.

I've always shirked away from the missions trips to far off places that last for a week to 10 days where youth or church groups do little more than play tourist. I remember one of the last youth trips I took as a teenager to the Bahamas. To the Bahamas. That I hate to admit in the first place. But I was told on that trip that it was cheaper to take a cruise ship from Florida than to fly, so we cruised to the Bahamas. That was "sufferin' for Jesus" if ever there were such a thing.

While there is a great deal of good that can come from such short term missions endeavors--to places like the Bahamas or to Peru--it's just refreshing to see someone break the mold of text-book missionary. I mean, who says everyone has to have in class training or pre-foreign language experience to make an incredible missionary. I'm amazed at the courage Joanna has shown in picking up her life in the states and moving to Cusco, Peru to dedicate at least a year of her life to a group of people whose language, until quite recently, she couldn't understand. That fascinates me. What motivates that kind of selfless guttsiness?

If the gospel is true, I suppose it best manifests itself as a genuine transfer of a way of life just as Christ demonstrated in His short time on earth. It takes hold when you share your life with some one by living with them rather than living around them. When you eat their food--no matter how many talons are found in the chicken foot soup. When you hold their hands--no matter how many warts you may get. When you listen to their stories--no matter how long and even if you can only understand half or less. To be submerged in the lives of the people she's trying to get to know, I'm sure, is among the chief and most lasting impressions Joanna will leave in the lives of these people. It's so fun to be a fly one the wall for this brief time. But I'm taking notes, because this is stuff you can't learn in missions 101!

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