Then and now; we and others—cross-cultural friends and global servants. September 29, 2010
Then and now; we and others—cross-cultural friends and global servants
September 29, 2010
Ah, as Yvonne and I receive, read, mull over and respond each week to scores of emails (old language, “letters”) from our friends around the world, we simply marvel at the unique nature of the living, self-revealing God and the reality of our Triune God on mission—the Father sends the Son, the Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit goes before both Father and Son for the arrival of the Son.
So let me talk about some newer traveling servants, and make a brief reference to some older ones.
In recent days, two dear families, the Morrow Five and the Hines Six, have flown to Uganda to start their ministry. The Morrows in a combined medical (Aaron is the MD), Mom, intercession and missions (Wendy’s passion). The Hines in leadership training (Travis) and Mom (Leslie). We have known Travis since (can it be?) his birth, what, some 40 years ago??? Leslie is the daughter of one of my seminary classmates, though we did not meet her until she appeared circa 1992 in the college SS class at Westlake Bible Church during her University of Texas years. Wendy was a close friend of Leslie’s (along with her sister Mary Ellen) but a chain-smoking, spicy-mouthed feminist. And then the Lord got a hold of her, and of Leslie and Mary Ellen!! It was sheer joy to witness the power of the Spirit in their lives. And we were bonded…………for life I suspect.
Leslie and Travis met during those UT years and things came to pass that led to marriage and four children. Travis taught iHS for a short season, studied at Trinity School of Ministry in PA, and then worked there for some years, then was ordained an Anglican Deacon. The four children came in short order. Wendy, post-university, taught English in Central Europe, met Aaron there, and they fell madly in love. Asking me to marry them, I said I would under 3 conditions: they wait a year; they return to get established in a church community; they get serious marriage counseling. And that’s what they did. And the three children came.
Their journey into longer-term mission began many years ago, and for Aaron (post Inter-Varsity in university, a few Urbana mission convention), then med school and post-doc specialization in family medicine, it was a long journey. But all four persevered. And they are in Kabale, Uganda today, encountering even as I write, the full force of geographic changes, time changes, cultural changes, culture shock, educational adjustments for the kids (already in school), and the gradual assumption of working assignments as they try to live and survive.
Their commitment is remarkable; their struggles real; their encounter with their enemies true (including their own human nature); their long-term vision true; their love for Jesus and his Gospel and his people. And they were just commissioned in the Anglican church in Kabale as the new missionaries to that marvelous country of such painful historical wounds yet full of potential.
So this blog salutes our friends, Wendy and Aaron, Travis and Leslie and their combined brood.
And they remind Yvonne and me of a host of friends who have dedicated their lives to cross-cultural mission. It’s not the profession that God most blesses, for we have a robust theology of vocation—all honorable ones are equally favored by God, who worked in creation and before sin; whose Son worked as a carpenter until he was 30. But in this case I reference our missionary friends.
Time does not give me space to talk equally about David and Phyllis, Janet and David, Ray and Gwen,
Stanley and Margaret, Reuben, Yunuse and Alphonsine, Taylor and Allison, Andre and Belinda, PS and K and Pramila, David and Wendi, Jan and Roy, Dottie and Carlton, David and Barbara, Caren and David, Rose and Dick, Kirk and Sarah, Matt and Michelle,
Rod and Jennifer, Sergio and Linda, Lisa and Doug, Jim and Jenny, Bertil and Alzira, David and Dora Amalia, Mike and Stephanie, Kees and Els, Keith and Suzanne, David and Hunbok, Richard and Irene, Rob and Sarah, Harry and Tina, Ramiro and Sonia, Marcos and Rosangela, Willie and Lydia, Adriaan and Lydia, Dwight and Sandi, Pam, Jamie, Rudy, Reg, Alex, Piers, Steve, Jim, and so many others.
And my parents, of blessed memory they, who sailed on the SS Sixaola in September 1938 for Cuba, Panama and Costa Rica, where on the day after their arrival, they began their Spanish studies—with my sister, age six months.
Of so many, the world does not deserve, but they pay the price, for the Lamb who was slain must receive the reward of his sufferings—that historic and still true Moravian slogan.