Wednesday, November 14, 2012
It is fall, and we are in California on our first stateside assignment. Michael has his corner of the front room here at the Immanuel Baptist mission house stacked with seminary papers and books. It feels a bit to me like old days in UCLA student housing—the watching him be a student again-- but now he has a laptop. And that monitor we bought in Peru. And both are slaves to his data-gathering and paper-writing while he works through necessary seminary units… and dabbles in mapping/programming/app-writing…for January.
Come January, we won’t live in a jungle community or an isolated town along a tributary of the Amazon or a hi-rise in Peru’s capital city. Instead, upon the arrival of 2013, we’ll be boarding a plane for Virginia to work at the IMB headquarters in Richmond. For a three-year term, we’re joining the Global Research team, where Michael will be doing some of what he did in Mexico earlier this year, only on a global scale. It will, Lord willing, look something like this: By problem-solving to implement Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software, he will be part of a team working to advance a database network of accurate, up-to-date information on people groups: their location, head-count, demographics, and whether or not they’ve had the chance to hear and respond to the Gospel. Implementing solutions for the gathering, categorical layering and presentation of this data, we will be armed with a real analysis of borders, head count and beliefs. Visually and spatially, these maps will serve our leadership in forming a strategy for the employment of limited resources and missionaries in strategic zones.
And so we have received the next something-to-do. Since each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful… (1 Cor 12:7, MSG). While Michael works on his something-to-do, I will have mine. And Julia and Abigail and Nathanael and Chloe will have theirs. It will look something very much like time spent in Yarina Isla or Atalaya in this way: we will spend time listening to people—to their stories. We will tell them ours and teach them from God’s history of the Universe, His Word. We’ll do this in the context of a local church, and in our neighborhood, while staying connected to, and sharing the stories of our Peruvian friends who, having heard pieces of God’s story, have yet to respond…
During December, Southern Baptists are meeting together to gather our offering-of-all-offerings, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Together—we who pray, we who give, and we who go—enable Southern Baptists to spread out upon the four corners of the earth with our appointed somethings-to-do. This makes the LMCO a great cause for celebration—thank you for giving with us this Christmas!!!!
Celebrating with you a great multitude…from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb (Revelation 7:9, MSG)! We join you in this great multitude—before the One whose blood has united even the fiercest enemies—thanking God for making us a team, each with our something-to-do.