Firstly, forgive me my last post if it sounded like I was having a rant! I kinda was. I apologise especially to the Hungarian friend of Andy’s who commented! 🙂
The last few days have been a mixture of deep thought, challenge and encouraging goings on! I’m now in Lusaka and as I write I can hear the gathered Alpha conference delegates worshipping with Ruth and Andy leading them. An inspiring sound! We’ve travelled down from Mwinilunga and what a journey it was…. for the second time in a week. After a mad 24 hours in the Copperbelt seeing two other ministry friends Bill Raven and Barry Ilunga, it was time to depart to the capital where I’m taking part in the Global Alpha Training Initiative.
There have been a few amusing events in the last few days which of course I should mention here:
1) Mark nearly got us arrested for taking photographs in Mwinilunga. Apparently last thursday when we were in the bush, the Chief of Police, Head of Immigration and the DC of the province came looking for us. Fortunately we were not around. Rather our friend Gordon McKillop had to smooth it out for us. Which he did!
2) I met Bill Raven on Thursday night for some discussion about the future of a couple of works we are doing. We decided we would get an Indian takeaway (you can do that in Africa). I tried ringing and after 20 minutes of what! Lamb Rogan Josh! and hilarious laughter – I decided it was better to call in person to order!
3) Mark and Andy went to Mibila Clinic amid sloshing about in flooded roads and the like – quite a challenge and I’d only given a morning to do it (I was talking with some leaders in a town called Chingola at the time). They came back with the car covered in mud! Properly baked in mud!
So what about this post I hear you cry? What does, “When God shows the way” mean? It means that I need you to pray. I need you (if indeed you do pray) to intercede for the future of what I do and indeed the evangelistic ministry that I lead. I’ve learned over the years that sometimes you are pushing in a direction and it is not gelling (as a friend of mine David Thompson says in Lusaka) – that is how I feel at the moment.
I know, know and know again that the heart for the rural church is right, I know that God is calling us to participate in his mission there, I may even have a few ideas – however, after a lot of thought – I’ve come back to prayer as the way forward, the only way forward. You can’t birth something of God through simple human effort. Yes, God calls us to work and work hard, but often a lot of effort is in the slightly wrong direction or in the wrong character.
So I was initially feeling frustrated because some of my thoughts had not panned out exactly as I had wanted. And that is the problem, exactly as I had wanted. I was then left feeling a little lost and confused. However, I am starting to see that this is maybe exactly the place the Lord want me/us in, of being reliant upon him and him alone. The fact that He has blocked the way on a couple of avenues, simply means he is guiding us. That is exciting – that means we may come upon His will, his good pleasing and perfect will. That excites me!
So I do believe that God is showing the way…..
This afternoon I will be speaking at the conference here in Lusaka. I’ll be teaching about the Holy Spirit, He is the one that empowers us to do the work of God in this world. He is the one who sends us out and equips us. Normal human people to do divine works.
My heart is that the leaders here are released to participate in the works of God in new ways. I even hope they run Alpha in their churches! I’m feeling more than a little nervous as well!
However, I believe that God is showing the way….
The task of a missionary, in fact any Christian is not to be innovative, it is not to be smart, it is not to be able, it is simply to follow the Lord into the places where the Church is not. That’s my heart. Please, pray for me in that, because the Lord has begun to show the way, I want to see more of what he sees.
Jon (and yes I’m very happy today :))