I had high hopes of blogging our team’s adventures (or mis-adventures) in Puerto Escondido. However God so sovereignly intervened by not allowing me any cell phone or email access the majority of the time there. That was the first blessing. In an effort to not forget what we experienced, here it is in bits and pieces. This is part/bit I.
It’s as though a veil has been lifted from my eyes now that I’ve experienced a short term mission through King’s Harbor. The Velasquez family is very dear to the Lind family, so I thought I knew a lot about their vision, their mission and their lives in Puerto. I had heard about Casa Hogar and bought the honey they make there. I knew about Mike and Vanessa Allbutt and Christian Surfers. As a church, we support them financially and many prayers are lifted up on behalf of them as they are home grown and sent by us. But I didn’t realize how little I knew until I was there.
There is nothing like experiencing it first hand. There is nothing like visiting the trench your friends are living in. There is something so sacred about partnering in the Gospel… physically as well as spiritually and financially. This is not to diminish other efforts that take place because they are all too important. But it begs the question… if we are all called to go and make disciples… of all nations… then what does that mean?
About 3 years ago, I attended a conference in which one of the speakers commented that the American Church has abdicated its responsibility to missions to Para church organizations. This is paraphrased because it was three years ago and it wasn’t a slam against Para church organizations as much as it was a rebuke to the Church for simply cutting checks and leaving the so called “work” to someone else. I’m not implying that KHC is doing this either. But I am confessing my own blindness and apathetic disposition to the missional community established in my home church. We are all on a mission field and we would be remiss to believe that only those who go far away are called to missions. But in the spirit of integrated community, doing church as a team, or just simply “community”… if one of us from this community is sent, it sure does glorify God but does it edify the body to the degree it could if no one else has seen, heard directly or been a part of what is happening?
The work that God is doing through Mando and Myra and their kids is profound. He is using them in a mighty way in Puerto Escondido. They belong there and the city needs them. The community of Christians they are a part of for fellowship and ministry is delightful. Mike and Vanessa Allbutt and their three kids are from Australia and share the same heart and mind for the surfers who unbeknownst to them are searching for the God of all creation. Mando and Myra welcome the strangers, the sojourners, the passer bys. They have time for everyone because they live to love people towards Jesus. The orphans at Casa Hogar respond to them and look forward to their visits because they reflect the face of the Lord who as taken them in (Psalm 27:10). The church they are a part of is slowly learning what it means to be The Church as they begin to understand the necessity of building relationships and unity with fellow churches.
It’s highly improbable that we are all called to go on long term or short term missions. But it is likely that many of us are avoiding it as well. I know I was. So take this as an encouragement… to pray… inquire of the Lord. I’m fired up because I just got back. I’m not denying the “high.” But maybe God is using that fire to encourage you to pray about where He may send you for a visit in a trench other than the one in which you live. Taste and see what God is doing through your church in Puerto, in Haiti, in Thailand, at Royal Family Kids Camp, through the ShareFest work day. See what God might do through you.