for those who don't want to just wait it out

like the song says this is a blog for someone who wants to say something (anything) and who's happy to wait and see what time will bring...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Watershed weeks

Sometimes you have a week that impacts you a little more than others. Sometimes, you wishes you could go back in time, realise what the impact will be and start to interact with it a little more intentionally. And then you realise that we can't take the time back, but we can always look forward to how God is going to use it. A chat with Nigel (one of the conference speakers) helped me to realise that it has been a watershed week - a critical point that marks a division or a change of course... a turning point that cannot help but forever change you...

But I'm getting a little ahead of my self aren't I?

We have been at the South Pacific Regional Training Event (SPRTE formally NTE) in Canberra this week with brothers and sisters from around Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, PNG and Vanuatu coming together to look at what the bible has to say about the "Cross and Culture" and (hopefully) spend some time learning from one another about what God has been doing in our lives and our countries. If you get the chance to head over to the AFES website you should be able to access the talks by the end of the week (if you were there) or will be able to purchase them sometime soon for those who couldn't make it. It's well worth it, esp to hear from one of our main speakers, Lindsay Brown as he shared with us about some of the ways that he has seen God working throughout the world. It was... breath-taking... and incredibly humbling to think about how much we take for granted here in Australia.

I think one of the greatest challenges for both Christians and non Christians in Australia is what I like to call apathetic individualism. Either because we are hardened or calloused to the suffering of the rest of the world, or because we just don't care, as a nation we are generally more concerned with seeking out the 'easiest' or most comfortable life. And I see that the areas in which we are least apathetic is the ones that concern us. How does this affect me? What will change for me? What will I get out of it?

And yet when I heard of the sacrifices that our brothers and sisters make across the world for their beliefs I am challenged, rebuked, inspired and refreshed.

How could we not be refreshed after a week with pacific island brothers and sisters? I've never been so warmly welcomed (not to mentioned hugged!) by people who I've just met. Their warmth, passion and enthusiasm (for the gospel and each other) was infectious and I was blessed to learn much from them. I'm jealous of the teams that get to have our pacific friends on their teams for the next week - the Aussies will have much to learn! There was a particular group that I spent more time with too, but I'm going to write a separate post to and for them once they've left the country so that I'm not too soppily sentimental!

As for me - well I'm pretty feeling pretty physically, emotionally and spiritually bashed around the head. It's been a long and surprising week. Some new opportunities in ministry have come up for me to pray about so it'll be interesting to see how and where God moves me over the next little while. All I know is that I have been moved. On the last night of the conference, Nigel offered up a call for all those who had been challenged to re-commit their lives to Christ, to serving God, to the mission of changing the world for His glory to stand. With tears streaming down my face I had no choice but to stand really. There was a second where I thought "Oh no, what will people think of me if I stand up? Will they think I'm just renewing my faith? Will they question the validity of my ministry that has been?".

But really, who cares? In a moment that is between you and God - what matters what others think? In that moment all I knew is that I was re-committed to being a part of His global mission and that my heart was so filled with the gratitude of all that Jesus has done for us that I was about to bounce off the walls with joy and a little trepidation about what the future may hold.

The next week will see me with a team of students at Church By the Bridge working alongside the team their to reach out to the very diverse community of Kirribilli. There's 16 of us - and I'm very thankful that we get a couple of days off now to rest up!

2 Comments:

  • At 10:34 pm, Anonymous Dave Miers said…

    very cool stuff jodi.

    just prayed for mission at cbtb.

     
  • At 11:57 pm, Blogger Katie said…

    I had a couple of watershed weeks myself Jodi - I also stood up and had that momentary crisis of "what will people think?!", but as you say, who cares? I have been so inspired and challenged and rebuked over these past 2 weeks that my head feels like it might explode, I hardly know where to start! Thanks for leading us on CBTB mission - was so awesome and eye opening for me, if a bit physically challenging! And just so you know, reflection is now no longer a dirty word for me! Ha!

     

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