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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Maybe Someday? [Reflections on The Revolution]

So, I'm back.
Sometimes one needs to step out of their own world for a moment, in order to really see the universe...

But now after 10 weeks away pursuing silence, I return with this one question:
These pages, these words, are these enough?

I don't know the answer to my own question. But I do know I am not satisfied with just words.

In fact, I am more than dissatisfied.

I suffer this chaffing bred of a dreadful frustration.

Frustration because while we pass around polished platitudes, (from the comfort of our bedrooms on our MacBook Airs) and sing all the glories of the giving,
our missionary heroes are growing old in their fields, and they can't find dedicated replacements.

What in the world?!

Her voice was only barely louder than a whisper, this friend of mine, and the granddaughter of one such missionary, but her words could have drowned out a thunderstorm.
"[She's] getting tired..."

Down three sets of escalators those words grind deep into my consciousness. Across the street in a blast of chilly Seattle this flush rises, falls, rises again. Up thirty-three floors to the top of the city, the slipping in of the key, and an open door to the skyline; I stop and stare.

This makes me so upset.

And the most upsetting part is that I'm one of them.
One of the privileged generation. With a heart that's been prepared for ruthless giving, by all that I've been given.
And yet, I'm still here.

I can no longer be satisfied with "maybe someday..."

Scratch the "maybe," dear Jesus. And may the "someday" be soon...








58 comments:

  1. Amen, brother! GYC did the same thing for me... no longer maybe someday. By God's grace, soon... thanks for sharing your fire!

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  2. This.. this hurts somehow. Because for all we've been given - all our privileges - somehow its never quite enough. And we can talk, and write and shed tears even; but if we never give ourselves, if someday never becomes today ... did we ever really mean it? May we talk less and be more

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    1. that's exactly it. exactly it. did we ever really mean it?
      tears notwithstanding.

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  3. amen...may someday come VERY soon indeed... :') Thank you for sharing Sean...!

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  4. Mmm...Amen!! By the way, Sunshine Orchard will be in desperate need of teachers this next school year (which starts in May). Maybe something to pray about. :)

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    1. I have heartstrings tied to every continent...

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  5. The upsetting part is that we're part of it... I can so relate. Oh to give it all for those who have none; to relieve those who are tired. I'm praying for my someday to be soon, too!

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    1. Don't just pray, act, make it happen... Look for the open door or window that God has for you.

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  6. Ah the questions ring in my heart too. In the main hall and across the street in the tcc up in room 302. After five hours in that room an MK and I talk. We ask questions and we pray. My heart is torn. A sister writes from Thailand, a place that is dear to my heart and I hear the question loud and clear. But the big question is does God want to me keep knocking on atheist's doors, or to find the unreached? I don't know.

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    1. Rest assured that His smile is on the work you are doing here as well, no matter how discouraging. Your faithful witness is a blessing to me deeper than you can realize. Yet this may well have been training ground for another phase of ministry..
      3BIO 288 may be encouraging.. It was to me anyway.. The section under the heading "Oh to know what to do"

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    2. Sorry for blowing up your comments here, Seán, lol.
      Highly thought-provoking post... I

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    3. Thanks Beth. I love comments. :) And I love that passage...
      Assurance comes with the action. And action can be now, even if departure isn't.

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    4. Glad you appreciated it too, though the comment was directed to Ashley.. :)

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    5. Thanks for the encouragement Beth. So few labours, yet there is so much work everywhere. Though some fields at times seem cold. For the next six months I've promised to help start another school to train more labours and for know I know God led in this, but I have such a burden for people in other places who have never heard and won't unless someone tells them.
      That quote was encouraging. Faith tested, trusting without reserve and acting, grace bestowed, strength and courage given.

      Sean, what do you mean by action now, even if departure isn't?

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    6. May I interject? I have the same questions. I feel called to domestic city missions, but am deeply burdened by the heart-wrenching stories from the third world. Which one? But I have been looking at the life of Paul, and his method. See 'Evangelism', pg. 554. Is this idealistic or unreasonable in our society? Would this idea work? I'd really like to hear other's ideas on this....

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    7. @Beth :)
      @Ashley, I mean that whether or not today's my day to go, I should be living, breathing, working, planning, and putting my stuff in order. That's the only way I know myself whether these are just words, of if it's real fire...
      @Schane, if that's unrealistic bro, then I have every intention of living an unrealistic life. (I like the sound of that. :))

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    8. Amen, brother! (I like the sound of it too.) :D It's my intention of trying it out. Soon...

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    9. I see now. Yes, you are right. Oh that my words be real and whatever God has for me to do, that I will do it willingly and without complaint with my whole heart.

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    10. Mmm.. I have been following this conversation with interest. Sometimes I wonder how much more would we accomplish if we truly knew how to use what we have right here right now. I hope my someday is soon - but God sends laborers into His harvest... an unrealistic life is not a comfortable life, but it is a glorious life. I don't want a comfortable life. But why do I live as though I do?

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    11. So true. It must change. No, I must change.

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    12. Can I just say I read this? And it messed with me.

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  7. Amen!...Someday is coming very soon..It cant come soon enough for me. Thanks for sharing, Sean the very same thing was going through my mind this morning as some missionary's we know were back to visit today.

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  8. Thank you, Seán. I've shed tears at my inability to help people here grasp the urgency, the need, the reality of the work overseas. I feel that the missionary is loved, but the mission hardly matters.

    May I be the representative voice from the missionaries I know to an invisible army of youth? To echo: "[They're] getting tired…" Missionaries are burning out; their flames are flickering and growing dim. I think of one I know well – went for a two month assignment, considered leaving the field multiple times (not weak or incapable, but burnt out), and eleven months later five people – 5 – were required to take over the responsibilities he'd been shouldering alone all those months. Or what about the 7 dedicated volunteers at Wat Preah Yesu right now trying to do the work of 20+ people (no exaggeration)? There are others, too. What about whole people groups with no missionary and not even a translation of the Bible in their own language? The plea of the missionaries is the same as that of the Macedonian in Paul's night vision: "Come over and help us." Acts 16:9. We've already been commissioned, commanded to go. Instead of asking if we should go, we should be asking if we should stay. Shame on us. Shame for all the talking, for all the desiring, for all the tears – with no action. Shame on me for waiting so long to go...

    From the prophet: 4T, 155.4; 5MR, 336.2.

    "Because some will not lift the burdens they could lift, or do the work they might do, the work is too great for the few who will engage in it. They see so much to do that they overtax their strength, and are fast wearing out." ~ Christian Service, p. 45.

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  9. Sorry to add more to an already long comment… Sameth told me once that he wants to learn English well enough to travel to other countries and speak about the needs for people to come help overseas. I could tell of other natives, too. The heart cry of the missionaries is that people are dying without an opportunity to choose Jesus – and the natives are echoing that plea. He who has an ear, let him hear…

    May we be willing to go or stay wherever God calls us.
    Sarah VH

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    1. So right Sarah.
      The widespread ignorance (and I mean that in terms of both lack of education, and ignoring the facts-- since between those two we're almost all covered) among us regarding the needs both of the world, and of those heroes giving away the last of their lives to lighten it, is as much a crime against humanity as was the holocaust.

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  11. Ahh, yes.. My thoughts exactly lately! They seem to follow me everywhere.. You put it into better words than I ever could! Oh may that someday be soon.. "The people are dying!" I want to know what it means to be spent with love for them, like He was... and to truly know what it means to rely completely on His strength.. Thanks for sharing! Now to DO something about it... not someday, but soon! =)

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  12. Reading this post...all these comments... makes me realize how comfortable I've become sitting here and saying "somebody else will do it"; how comfortable I've become working 40-hours a week in ministry and forgetting that ministry is not something I do...it's something I am. While I may not be called to foreign missions at this point in my life, right here around me is a mission field where souls are dying... and there may be no one else to reach them and now is the time to reach them.

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  13. I needed this right now. Thank you, brother!

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  14. Swarthy, this brought me to tears (right before my first class, I'll have you know). ...Thank you from the field.

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    1. Thank you, thank you for serving, dear cousin.

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  16. Indeed. This is a subject that has often brought me to tears. Sometimes we missionaries wonder if our, and the natives, pleas for help are moving even one soul into action. The desperate need for dedicated missionaries for here and around the world faces me every day. It's as real as our own breath. The work is so great...where are the reapers? Sometimes I feel like sinking under discouragement because there is so much to do yet very few who will give their all for it. I must not get discouraged though because there are a few who are rising up to God's command (Mat. 28:18-20) to them. I praise God for those who moving into action. Oh, may He send more now!

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  17. I resonate with Sarah "Instead of asking if we should go we should be asking if we should stay". After going to Cambodia, I didn't asked myself if I should've gone...I left crying and sobbing, and with a burden in my heart for the Cambodian people that I thought I was not able to bear. I was pleading to God to stay..yet I had to leave, and He sent me to Korea...a country in Asia that has an incredibly amount of Christians...but yet many souls are dying (putting an end to their lives themselves) without knowing what the Gospel is really about....And as I write this comment I realize I cannot figure out the reason why there is not only a lack of missionaries among the unreached, but among the "reached" as well...and as my heart still longing to go back to work in Cambodia, I am in Korea, realizing that "The world today is in CRYING NEED of a revelation of Christ Jesus in the person of His saints"

    "God desires His people to place themselves in right relation to Him, that they may understand what He requires of them above all things else.
    TM 458.2.3

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    1. I left crying with clenched fists pressed down on the pages of my open journal on the China Southern flight to Guangzhou. And I was only there one week...
      All I can say is, you and Teacher Sarah must have a lion's share of grace.
      That, and most of the rest of the world must be on an addict's dose of sedative...

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  18. My Seany, your post touched my heart, and I'll add a few words to the lengthy list of comments. :) I hear what you're saying, and after years of doing the work that lay nearest, the time has come for me to go.

    As we lift our eyes to the far flung fields of the world, we see hands outstretched for help everywhere. Where to go? Which call to answer? He will guide us.

    Your heart is eager to serve and sacrifice. He will guide you too.

    Your sister and forever friend,
    Chantee

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    1. Yes sweet girl, your time has come. :')
      And that is my great consolation. You were born for this, dear. You were born to go.

      And I was too.
      You figured it out first. (smart cookie.)
      But I'll be right behind you.
      We'll be right behind you.

      Love, love, love you.

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  19. Thank you for sharing, Seán. I really appreciate it. And truly, I can say, Thank you from the field! :)
    In your response to Olga, you said the rest of the world must be on a addicts dose of sedative. If I may add something. Its sadly a _lethal_ dose of sedative!

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  20. I resound with many of the thoughts shared here. The whole world is in desperate need. I have gone overseas. The needs are huge. I long to return, and I will soon go back when i finish the training God has for me. But for now God wants to know what I am doing with the time & energy & resources I have here and now. Who am I reaching with His love?

    One of the biggest mission-related thoughts that personally plagued me during GYC was this: if I'm so eager and willing to return to the front lines and sacrifice comfort and live simply again for God's work there, then why do I not live as equally simple and sacrifice as greatly while living here to further God's work worldwide?

    For where my treasure is. . . there my heart will be too.

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    1. That thought was on my mind almost every time I thought about the time when I was going to be leaving my awesome simple life. You come to realize that you can live with so little, and yet be so happy just because you're serving HIm!! Oftentimes, I used to get worried about becoming so "distracted" by material things again once I would be back...But God's grace and strength have been working in my life to keep me focus on the goal, even in a place like this. I'm so glad God has given you this impression, and I'm sure that through His grace you can live simply and "sacrifice" things wherever you are to further His kingdom!

      Blessings!

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    2. So true! If we lived as missionaries wherever we are what a change would be wrought! It is so easy to live for ourselves (or at least not as sacrificially or evangelistically as God would have) here in America! But it should not be so!

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  21. hmm. yes.
    we say we want, and we mean it... but then we live as if we're entitled to all the comforts. tragic confusion.

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  22. I'm so glad to see this conversation. It is deep encouragement to my soul. It's easy to think sometimes that there are no listening ears for the cries of the world, and of the workers wearing out in service, but God is working even when we can't always see it.... sometimes He gives us glimpses into His work. :) May God add fuel to this fire growing and may it never die, but grow ever brighter until Jesus comes again.

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  23. Thank you for sharing. I may not be reaching the unreached in the Philippines, but your post echoes my recent feelings of the urgency of the work wherever God leads us. There are so many who need to hear of a God who is love, or even see a clearer picture of His character, whether Christians or unreached. It is good to see that our generation is rising to the need, at least in word, and hopefully in action. Wherever God leads from here, I want to say without reservation, "Here am I, Lord, send me!"

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  24. Amen!

    My prayer too! Jesus "let the someday be soon!"

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  25. I think what Chantee said is key. We need to let the Lord guide us where to go. If it is overseas we need to go. If it in our own country we need to go. There are people who have had no opportunity here in the USA as well (it's hard to believe but I have seen some of them). That is not an excuse to stay if the Lord is saying Go! And even if the Lord is calling to stay in America it may not be where we now are. We need to ask the Lord, where do you want me to go? What do you want me to do? And prepare everyday to be called by doing the work that lies nearest.

    This article (post) made me think and so did Wes Peppers messages. There's always intentions, dreams, and ideas but often we get right back into our everyday work and it seems I have forgotten the most important things and have gotten caught up in the everyday things. I think it is like the Enchanted Ground in Pilgrim's Progress. It is so easy to sleep, it is hard to stay awake. The apathy is everywhere. As EGW says we need to break through the apathy with God's help and just do what He wants us to do today. Soon He will open bigger opportunities for us! To be such a person as was John the Baptist, or Stephen, or Paul, or J.N. Andrews is my utmost desire. To be like Jesus!

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