I've been so blessed to sit under some great teaching the last two nights. A dynamic man of God named Dave works as a missions mobilizer and he poured into our small group this week.
The first night (last night) I came home with a stirring in my heart. Don't worry, I don't feel called to be a missionary after one brush with all this global talk. What I feel is deep though. I am certain that I can't adequately convey it all here.
Last night's theme was about big picture thinking, not viewing life through our myopic tendecies. Dave started with the tower of Babel, which I'd just read to Bethany that morning. I've always thought of this little story as simply a way to explain our diverse coloring and language. I had no idea it is so central to what God's doing right now in the world. Dave explained that God is gathering his scattered people; that God's been working towards this end since the the scattering occurred.
Our little lives and our obsession with God's will for our life (and our life alone) takes us off track of working alongside God in his pursuit of the scattered people. Much of what Dave said sounded very Henry Blackaby-ish: Find out what God is doing and join him-it's not really all about us.
Last night set the theory, the foundation. My mind and heart searched long into the night for the application. I have never felt the call to board a plane as a missionary. My heart is sold out to mission work here at home in the form of rescuing the unborn and their mothers from spiritual and physical death. Yet I do have a heart to sow into other forms of missions. But how? And how do I make it real to my children?
Our homeschool curriculum, Sonlight, comes into play here. I have been thankful for this curriculum in many ways but never have I been so deeply moved by Sonlight's role in my family's missions training. Sonlight starts out introducing the world to youngest students-they purposefully order their studies to reduce the typical myopic view. Hope, as a "second grader" is learning about people groups, world religions and world culture before learning American History in a couple of years. We are praying for a people group each week and she's hearing missionary stories on a regular basis. Ashlyn, who's doing junior high level work has studied more missionaries than I can recall, but at least a couple per year. Believe it or not, even in the PreK curriculum put together by Sonlight, there are missions focused resources.
What all this means is that while I didn't even know to appreciate the global missions mindset, I've been teaching it to my children all along. I had some of the applications in place, just because of the curriculum, and my new understanding is now adding passion. How thankful I am that Sonlight is wise and already so missions focused (they actually started by putting together curriculum for missionaries without access to libraries and bookstores). My children have already had their hearts pointed in this direction in spite of my ignorance!
I feel I'm just getting a glimpse of all this...I am drawn to study more, pray more and prepare more. What if my child is called to serve an unreached people group? That's not safe! What if she's persecuted or even worse--martyred?
Yet, if that's what brings God the most glory...I need to be okay with that...
I'm sure I'll be back on this topic as I've picked (back) up John Piper's Let the Nations be Glad and my heart has forever been changed with the charge to pray like never before...
If you'd like to read some of Dave's teachings, go to this blog and scroll down to the July & August entries. You'll be challenged and blessed, I promise!