Not so Posh and Wanting to go Becks.
What an awesome time we had in Latvia. Being able to walk shoulder to shoulder with those poor farmers and giving them much needed man resource along with the hope of the Gospel, I’m sure our week there was not only life changing for those touched by Jesus but a deposit was left in the land to make them more Westernised in their thinking and methodology. These short term missions are so effective at changing lives to the core of the being. We witnessed lives turning around for Jesus, poor people being empowered, including the women who were given a voice in the land. We helped build vital farm equipment, worked some of the land and even trekked through rough forest terrain to build bridges even deeper into the community. We preached and taught to key people laying out the steps needed to build successful churches here in these out of town places, held house meetings and left copies of key material that I’m sure will help guide them through the process of equipping the saints. We have returned with projects in mind to raise finance for to help these people with nothing. We have more people now signed up to our newsletters. We hope as you read this brief report that you are already stirred to partner with us in this key of the sharing of the Gospel to a needy people. We hope to visit again soon where we will plant churches with our brand name and build a Bible college and orphanage with teams of young folk going there through the year.
Thank God our trip to Latvia was nothing like this. The mind for missions surely has to change.
The Storie Story.
Ian and Joanna are an amazing couple. Our brief time with them was one of hearing journey, sharing lives and witnessing a love for the people and the land. What we witnesses touched our lives greatly and what we evidenced was a standing in the land not to convert it but to work with it. Not to rule it and to change it but to steward it. Not seeing the people as potential souls for the kingdom but to see them as people to respect and love and share lives with. Ian and Joanna are not there with big projects and preaching ministries, they are there walking with God daily, whatever that day may bring. This walk does not convert into an impressive report for a result minded Christianity looking for souls saved and baptised, evidence of healing experienced and churches planted, but we were so touched by their love and sold out living for a people. This was not a mission to them but a life. This was not a five year plan but everything. This was not a stint here and then we’ll go back home, this was now home. Roots deep in the earth, not getting out of there when the going gets tough, but toughing it out. Living the dream daily and not wanting to deliver a Western dream to the people. No short term crash in, crash out, but building something that will last. Not against the flow of the land but in stewarding the land that God has given them, in partnership with God and the people of the land. I was humbled by these lives so given. A journey filled with brokenness and disillusionment and yet held together with hope. Prophetic fulfilment and misunderstanding by others. No big church support behind them just a road of twists and turns that led to this day and this moment. I am sure one day the Storie Story will be written. Joanna already blogs about the journey, which is well worth reading, and I look forward to reading Ian’s side of the story one day too. The whole concept of mission has to change in the new landscape and these lives touch that something new. A commission rather than a mission. A co-mission, working with, walking with, living with, dying with. People of the land not of another land. Learning the culture not introducing a counter-culture. Serving the people and not acting superior. Becoming one of them and not out to make them one of you. Through it all the love of God just flows through their lives as they work with the land and walk with the people. Thank you Ian and Joanna for allowing Geoff and myself to touch your lives for a brief moment, you have now touched our lives forever. We can never be the same again. Wherever we are in this world we need to learn from your example of working with the land, listening to the land, stewarding along with God and the people what we see and hear. Not seeing people as souls to be saved but lives to be loved and respected. Not the kingdom as a dominion to be established but a life of love to live daily, giving of self. Latvia will forever be in our hearts, and you will forever be seen as friends. The dots have been joined and the picture emerging gets even more amazing and even more mysterious. The journey continues to wherever…