Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Roles in Missions

What do you think of when you picture "MISSIONS"?

Do you see...
...David Livingstone, whose heart belonged to Africa?
...inner-city ministries?
...a few weeks in another country?
...or someone you know personally?

This week on campus, there is a conference being held: Field Ministries Week. This is a chance for the students, staff, and visitors to hear first hand about New Tribes' mission work around the world. Since I'm in childcare during the mornings, I'm not able to go to most of the meetings, but this afternoon I was able to attend a one hour session. It was great to hear about the work God is doing in Africa and Latin America. I wanted to share two quotes with you from this afternoon.

"You are not Muslims, and you are not Christians--you are men of God!"
-Islamic Leader in Africa

This really struck me, because the leader was speaking to NTM missionaries. I'll let you decide for yourself if it is a good thing or not to be identified as men of God rather than Christians. I thought it was pretty neat, because the leader's impression of a Christian was a Roman Catholic priest who brought religion to Africa. The NTM missionary he spoke to has made it clear that his purpose for being there is to "share the sacred writings with him". The people are trusting this missionary because of his presentation towards them--he has even grown out his beard, because in their culture, teachers and respected men have long beards. Hope this gives you some food for thought--do you want to be identified as men of God?

The second quote has more to do with the roles of missionaries. The list above includes many different types of missions. There is no "correct" answer, so long as all on the list are guided by God. Here is one more aspect to mission work:

"We need finishers. In some cases, the New Testament has been translated. The plea is for fledgling groups to be brought to maturity. They have been taught enough [scripture] to survive, but not enough to thrive."
-Missionary from Latin America

Missions work is not solely about tribal missions, VBS, inner-city kids, translating scripture (the list is long!) Missions work is about bringing people to the point where they can thrive in their relationship with the Lord, which is so much more than just the Gospel presentation.

How can you help people to thrive in their relationship with the Lord? Start praying now about how God wants to use YOU!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

With a Sad Heart

Please pray fervently for the victims of child abuse in NTM. Pray for healing for them and pray for justice. The horror of the abuse and the failure of NTM to act when this came to light has brought me to tears.

“At the request of NTM and with the consent of the former students of the NTM school for missionary children in Senegal, GRACE conducted a review of the situation at the school in the 1980s. They presented their report to NTM and the former students on Monday [August 23, 2010].

Individuals in our organization abused children. People in leadership at the time were culpable through inadequate screening and training, creating an atmosphere of legalism and autocracy, and not addressing the abuse properly. This means that we as an organization are responsible and have sinned against these students.

True repentance, as the GRACE report points out, will be seen in our actions, and we pledge to act. Our current leaders are reviewing the recommendations in the report, and will meet with GRACE this week so we can fully understand them and move forward in the right way.” -NTM

Please pray for the victims of the abuse, the people in GRACE who have conducted this report so thoroughly, and the leaders and members of NTM. Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thomas & Didymus

Readers, meet Thomas. Our toddler class goes outside each morning for about 20 minutes, and today we found a little friend! We live near Lake of the Ozarks (a pretty big lake), but we were quite surprised to find a baby snapper no where near the lake. The kids all enjoyed looking at him for the 30 minutes we "owned" him.

After about 5-10 minutes, the kids moved one of our outside toys and found Didymus ("Twin"). So now were were doubly surprised! We scavenged for more, and moved all the toys, but didn't find anymore turtles. My new neighbors told me the turtles still had their umbilical cords attached, so they were likely a week or so old.

After class I took Thomas & Didymus on a walk, and we ended up at a creek that feeds into the lake.

Thomas & Didymus appreciated the clean(ish) water, and decided to stay for the duration.

The Toddler Room

This semester I'm in the Toddler room again. Some of my co-workers and I worked over the past few weeks to get our room ready. We went from the walls looking like this:

To looking like this!I'm really excited about how the room turned out. We moved some of the things around, and I think it worked really well today.

This morning was our first day in class. We had 9 kids show up, ranging from 1 year & 9 months up to 3 years old. It's quite an age range when you see them in person! They all did great, we hardly had any tears, and some of the kids weren't ready to go home when their parents showed up!

Thank you for your prayers for them!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Mr. Amazing Turns 1

Cooper the Nephew turned one at the end of July--here are a few pictures I've gotten so far!