In a day and era when fundamentalism is wrong and tolerance is good, Its strange to be who I am.
I live in a different country because of who I am and what I believe. I believe God is love and showed us His love in wrapping His Son in space and time. He came, He saw and He sacrificed, so that we could be united together. I live where I live so I can be evidence of God's love, by loving others as much as He loved me. Its a tough act to follow...this taking up the cross of love and walking through the streets every day.
Its tough because I have to adapt as fully as I can to a culture that's alien to my own. So, how do I be "100 percent" or as close to it as I can in this culture, but still not be "100 percent" because if I was, that would mean adapting to the sins of this place too.
In this place, you use shame and embarrassment as tools to manipulate other people. How do I show Christ's love without falling into their traps?
In this place, family is so important that nothing else matters when the family needs you. How do I show God's love when I live 6000 miles away from my family?
In this place, tolerance and godlessness are the religion. Everything goes, nothing really matters as long as you fit into society. How do I fit into society, loving as Christ loved? He loved the woman at the well, the gentile women with the ill daughter, the centurion with great faith, the woman with the issue of blood? He loved Saul so much to see him become Paul, he loved Cornelius so much to send dreams from heaven, He loved the Enunch on the road so much to transport Phillip to share the gospel....how do I follow Him and love them?
Finally, in this place, the Christians have bunkered down for a long time...they are afraid to share their victorious faith that they know. They desperately long for their family and friends to understand the victory and freedom they have experienced in their hearts, but they often lack the courage to live it openly, for fear of shame and embarrassment. The only places they feel "free" to be 100 percent themselves is on Sunday morning in church and Wednesday night in prayer meeting. The other however many hours of the week, its easier for them to live with the light under the bushel because when they let it shine, the rhinos try to come and stamp it out. How do I shine my light and encourage the believers to do the same?
After seven years, I have more questions than answers. This summer, I seek answers. May I come to know Him more deeply, and see Him more clearly, so that He is the Answer. I've seen methods fail, missionaries get discouraged and go home, the darkness is thick here. I watched others wash out, others get physically ill, others crumble and move away to lighter places. My cry this summer is, show us the Answer. Give us the faith to stay on, and the courage to say no to all the temptations to leave.