Alas, I just lost over a hundred photos and a camera, all in one loud “pop!” My Sony DSC-S600 camera, the one that I used to take the Asaro Mud Man photo, here, self-destructed. I had just shot a picture of a yellow-lapped honeyeater dining on hibiscus nectar, turned the camera off, and set it on the table next to me. Suddenly, it made a loud popping noise as the camera destroyed itself and the 4 GB memory card that was in it, without any apparent provocation. Sigh. That was annoying. Also lost were some really neat pictures I took on a recent trip to Goroka and back.
If that wasn’t enough, the same day, I found out that my old dog, Mandy, was so old and sick that my sister took her to the vet to be put down in the USA. And today, the first day of 2008, my elderly dog, Dallas, seems to be so sick that after several days of not eating, she just wants to lay down in a ditch and die. I didn’t know what to do, so I asked God to take care of it. He did.
You know, even when trouble comes, and it does that a lot on planet Earth, God is good. His mercy and loving kindness last forever. Keep smiling. Jesus has overcome the world. The glory of His reward far outshines the annoyances along the way. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
The year just rolled over to 2008. What do I see? I see a more intense year in the battle between God’s light and dark enemies. Battles rage, and many people are so distracted that they don’t even see the conflict.
Have you noticed the drop in missions funding, and the trend away from long term (career) missions to short-term missions? There is, of course, a place for both long-term and short-term missions, and the important thing is to make sure you go the way the Lord leads. Don’t substitute one for the other when God calls you– do what He says if you want to be fruitful. I am concerned that more people are being called to long term missions than are going, however. You see, there are things you can do long term that are impossible short term. You can truly learn new languages and cultures and understand what it takes to truly impact people and cultures with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that sticks and bears fruit far beyond what you see initially. Take a moment and ask yourself if you are one of those people called to go into a career as a Christian missionary. You can have all kinds of vocations within such a career– pastor, evangelist, administrator, aircraft mechanic, pilot, motorcycle mechanic, rocket scientist, custodian, doctor, nurse, teacher… whatever it takes to get the Word of God to people. There are also a lot of different organizations and movements that need help. Do some research, and listen to the Lord.
Is there a cost to long term missions. Yes. It costs you your life, really. You end up losing your life to gain it back again. The Lord may lead you outside of your comfort zone. OK, I’m pretty sure He does that for everyone who follows Him, at least once. 🙂 There are dangers to going into another place and culture, but safety can’t be guaranteed anywhere this side of Heaven, really. When we get to Heaven, I plan to have lots of friends there worshiping the Father with us– friends I helped find the way there: Jesus Christ.
Think about it.