Answering Why?

I spent some time last week trying to honestly and concisely answer the question, “Why do we do what we do?” My initial answer is below. I’m in the process of running this by board members, colleagues and a theologian for further input. So far, it seems to deeply resonate with our team. It’s both beautiful and powerful to put words on deeply held convictions.

Why do we what do what we do?

Our mission flows out of the heart of our good and loving Creator and our relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Bible reveals that God hears, sees and cares for all humankind – with Jesus being the ultimate revelation as his incarnation, life, sacrifice and death demonstrate just how far God’s love will go to rescue us from evil, restore us to Himself and bring about the renewal of all things.

The Holy Spirit pours God’s love into our hearts, compelling us to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. Fueled by God’s love and empowered by his Holy Spirit, we are compelled to help people survive and recover from forced displacement.

We serve with hope even in the midst of sorrow and suffering. For by Jesus’ resurrection and promised return, we know that love and life get the final word rather than evil and death. We have this hope not only in this life, but in the life to come. Jesus has risen and so will we.

As we serve, we pray and long for the time when all things will be made new and life and peace will fill the earth – and there will be no more refugees.

Spiritual formation and prayer

Father, please fill us with the knowledge of your will,
giving us spiritual wisdom and understanding
so that the way we live always honors and pleases Jesus
and our good works bear good fruit
and our relationship with you grows deeper and deeper.

May we be strengthened by your glorious power
so that we persevere with endurance, patience and joy with thanksgiving
for you have enabled us to share in the inheritance of the saints living in light.

Based on Colossians 1:9-12

While reading from Colossians 1 this morning, I was reminded how we can help shape each other’s spiritual formation through intercession. So I remixed Paul’s prayer a bit and put it on a digital sticky note. I have already found it helpful in moving me to pray more consistently for my IAFR teammates.

People sometimes ask how they can best pray for missionaries. I find this prayer a good place to start. I welcome your prayers for me along these lines!

Partner – Dr. George Kalantzis

It was a joy and blessing to have Dr. George Kalantzis from Wheaton College (IL) lead our morning sessions exploring the nature and meaning of the gospel during our annual IAFR missionary conference this year.

George has played a key role in our partnership with Wheaton College and its Humanitarian Disaster Institute in the past 4+ years in Kakuma refugee camp (Kenya). He plans to travel to Kakuma with me again in March 2020 to continue investing in the refugee church leaders with whom we partner. Dr. Margaret Diddams, Provost of Wheaton College, also plans to join us on that visit.

We thank God for partners like George who not only teach theology but also make themselves fully available to reflect deeply on the Gospel.