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Living God’s Bigger Dreams

Get out of your comfort zone…

Perhaps it’s become an overused and slightly cliched expression in motivating Christian talks… and yet, from my own experience of mission, it is so apt. Working cross-culturally to share God’s love has an uncanny and often unwelcome knack of stripping away more than we bargained for.

Language learning?
Of course … …and then I realise that it’s not like learning French at GCSE, but also a whole new set of unwritten cultural rules and priorities and systems. I slowly learn through my many mistakes, and am grateful to a few key helpers, trying to navigate what feels like a maze I keep getting stuck in.

Serving the material poor?
Sure… …and then I realise that being in a developing country means that there are scary tropical illnesses and questionable health care and risks. I realise that there are more complicated questions than easy answers, and a brokenness I had never considered. I have to grapple with moral dilemmas and think through what part I should play in the complex web I begin to see.

Being part of a team?
Great… …until I realise that team dynamics take work, and time, and prayer. Sometimes different personalities and different cultural perspectives, work ethics and priorities can be confusing and frustrating, and I wonder if perhaps it would be easier to go my own way and do things my way.

And then the schedule…
I think that I am going overseas to help with a particular role, but when I get here, it has all been changed, and my weeks are nothing like I imagined or planned, and sometimes I question why I have been brought here and what I can o er.

The humbling, sometimes painful, experience of losing control, independence, security and having my pride and confidence knocked, is not depicted in a cheesy facebook profile picture of me saving the world. It is a delicate time of God moving me to a place where I am more vulnerable, more open, more desperately reliant on Him. A time to become more aware of the wider world and what breaks His heart. God wants us to experience the incredible richness of the life He has planned for us. It is bigger than our imaginations could grasp, but it also takes risk, frustration and suffering. God promises to do more than we can ask or imagine, and has big dreams for us. But this means stepping out of our comfort zones and trying something new, learning to trust, learning to walk more closely with God, and hold onto His promises when things seem so uncertain. It is not about an exciting adventure

God wants us to experience the incredible richness of the life He has planned for us. It is bigger than our imaginations could grasp, but it also takes risk, frustration and suffering. God promises to do more than we can ask or imagine, and has big dreams for us. But this means stepping out of our comfort zones and trying something new, learning to trust, learning to walk more closely with God, and hold onto His promises when things seem so uncertain. It is not about an exciting adventure holiday, or an idealistic or romantic notion about being the hero and being cheered by the whole village: it is a longer lasting, bigger dream where God is working to change people from the inside-out. Sharing God’s love and truth in another culture will first change you in a way that you might not expect or choose, and as you change, your impact becomes stronger.

 

– Emma C, on mission in Uganda