I’m sat serruptitiously writing this blog post on my iPhone sat at the front of a conference. All around me people are praying quietly and well I’m no getting a word of this session at all. That because it is in Bemba, a language here in Zambia. St francis Anglican church nchelenge is built of concrete blocks. There are bear roof trusses with tin sheets for the roof. The temperature in the sun is upper thirties atthe moment, so it can become quite unbearable as the day goes on. At the gable ends of the church the bricks are not fully to the height of the roof, giving anything an unfinished look.
We are here running life conference which is what we do when some groups have begun to happen in an area. We are up near the congo by the side of lake mweru. To be honest it feels good to be here. That for me is significant as many times ove the last week, good is the last thing I have been feeling.
There are many well entrenched attitudes and mind sets that are to be undone. A lack of hope, dependence upon the outside are some examples. These are spiritual entities, and they must be undone through right spirituality and practice. In short by doing the work we are doing you are making an assault upon everything that would seek to keep the villages in darkness and hopelessness.
Funnily enough this comes at a cost sometimes. I sometimes suffer from anxiety. It is sometimes very prevalent just usually before I embark on some expedition or another. I wander sometimes if the enemy stirs that up around me just to make things difficult.
Then there are more subtle attacks. A powerful opportunity we have seen here is to help godly like minded villagers teach one another to help others. In doing this you practically undermine the idea that those from the outside are those who can change things. Ie. You oppose dependency. However other things come into the mix like selfishness and greed. There is a man who is great with bees who could help one of our teams to develop this. It was all looking rosy until I saw his proposed budget. He wanted about 6 months wage to do one session. Is this opportunism or somehing deeper. Lets sa I let him do it at a revised budget. He comes along teaches them and then wants to come again and again. Within time he has built his own little empire. He has created power within something hat we are trying to be giving power away. In short even though the practical outlet may be good. He spiritually stands for somehing else. He stands for the old way of feathering your own nest not a sharing of help and working together. So if we let him in he is swimming in another direction and as a person who wants to defend our young movement I have decided to not let him in. Rather than responding to the pressure of getting something done (and that is the problem of most mission sometimes) I want to let the correct attitudes and mind set grow from the correct soil. It is subtle but ever so important.
Mission is not about getting things done. Is is not primarily about helping people. Mission is about Jesus transforming people who then love and through them whole communities are changed.
Spirituality in this is everything. I look back over the las week and see all of the subtle attacks that have been done. Through discernment I can see where they are coming from and what will result if I am not alert.
The nature of our warfare is to die to ourselves, honour Jesus and love people. The end never justifies the means and the way we do something is perhaps more important than what we do. Problem is, most of us in the UK just don’t get that. In our rush for Influence we compromise ourselves to power fame and celebrity. Never realising that as we do so we our destroying the very thing we are trying to build.
The character of what we do is the only way to defeat evil in this world