Well it has been a while since I’ve blogged, so I decided to make my way to a coffee shop, order my favorite soy latte, sit back, and write from my heart. This past week I have been following a blog of a beautiful family that left everything they had and moved to Haiti to serve at missionaries (www.livesayhaiti.blogspot.com). The more I read it, the more I fall in love with Tara’s writing. It is beautiful, speaks to your heart, and cuts deep. If you know me at all, I LOVE Haiti. And not only Haiti but I LOVE spending time with “the least of these.” A perfect day would be my hair up in a pony tail, no make-up on, walking through villages holding the hand of my husband and a sweet orphan wearing TOMS. No agenda. No worries. Just being the hands and feet of Christ. When life becomes about “others” and not about yourself, your perspective changes and you realize that your purpose remains solely is bringing God the ultimate glory He deserves.
Tara Livesay writes a beautiful post about missions and I want to take a minute to share some thoughts on what she writes. If you have time, go and read her post, it’s worth your time. http://dlmayfield.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/war-photographer-tara-livesay/
It will make you think differently about “missions.”
It’s so easy to get caught up in the superiority mindset of the “fixers” and “healers” when we travel to third world countries. I’ll be the first to say, I have caught myself in this mindset before. I go in and want to “fix” everything, when really, that’s not my purpose. It’s about going in with the mindset of wisdom and complete humility. When we go and stand in the midst of an impoverished nation, we MUST realize our own “soul poverty” and “pride” that we live in every single day back home in our abundance. We are no one better but people who are commanded to fight for justice and show the LOVE of Christ. Instead of taking the higher road, we must take the lower and humble ourselves to the point of being uncomfortable.
Since I was 12 years old, I have taken mission trip after mission trip. I have seen and learned so much that has grown me and stretched me in so many ways. God has broken me, restored me, re-molded me, torn down my pride, isolated me, cleansed me, and helped shape my thinking to be more like HIS. I have a burning desire to help the poor, orphaned, and widow, BUT I want to do it in a way that doesn’t destroy their dignity or who they are. I want them to realize there purpose and that their poverty does not define them.They are just as precious as you and I and deserve the absolute BEST. They are starving for LOVE and it is our responsibility to show them a LOVE that is unconditional, the LOVE of Jesus Christ.
So what does this mean for you and me? It means we must FIRST “examine our own motivation and presumptions in the light.” We must clean out our hearts and realize our own poverty we live in. Being on the mission field with the lost, lonely, and broken has the potential to change our lives when we realize those that we look in the eyes, are Jesus Himself. Whatever you do for one of the least of these, you do unto me. -Matt 25:40
On July 13th, I, along with my best friend, have the most amazing opportunity to lead our first Empty Bucket Ministries trip to the beautiful country of Nicaragua. We have an amazing team of 18 people and my desire, passion, and vision is that we go in with the mindset that we are nothing and that we ourselves need healing. May we not go in with a “project” mindset (as Tara talks about in her blog post) but with a mindset that each soul we come in contact with has absolute purpose and is created in the beautiful image of God.
As Tara writes…