This week I attended an event at the Compassion International headquarters in Colorado Springs to discuss the upcoming Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism. It was fascinating to hear how God has moved among Christians around the globe to pull off this event, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa.
I encourage you to read up on the Congress as a way of seeing how we in camping ministry fit into the worldwide effort to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Then, after the event, which runs Oct. 16–25, keep your eyes open for the outcomes as reports follow the Congress. (You may also follow the Congress on the Cape Town 2010 Web site where video from the Congress as well as a video podcast will be available.)
Following the handful of international trips I’ve made, I always feel small coming home. Like my vision isn’t big enough, my understanding not broad enough, my influence not deep enough. One story told last night exemplifies the way our U.S.-centric view can be a handicap.
On one missions trip, an American went to a missions office and asked what he and his crew could do to serve the local missionaries. The man took him to a wall and said, “This is the wall for Americans on short-term missions. They seem to have a need to paint, so we bring them here and let them paint, and they seem to enjoy the activity. Then, when they’re gone, we repaint the wall the color we wanted it in the first place.”
Oh, my. Is it really all about us?
I need to do regular mind-expansion exercises to keep me sharp and stay aware of what God is doing all around His world. (The CCI Worldwide Summit in Panama last spring was just such an exercise for me.) We may not change all of our strategies or processes in our ministries as a result, but by studying the work of God and His people in other parts of the globe, we can come ever closer to knowing Him.
Do you have an eye-opening, mind-expanding story of international ministry you’d like to share? Please leave a comment here.