Friday, February 6, 2009
The Episcopal church wants to change the name of missionaries to "Mission Partners" and it has caused quite a stir amongst those currently serving in the mission field. An enterprising young YASC volunteer, Jesse Zink, sent out an email to all of the mission personnel in the field with his objections to the change and requesting other reactions. For the last three days I have been reading responses from all over the Anglican communion. It is incredible. There are people all over the place doing incredible things out of love and faith. It makes me feel somewhat lacking. But this email stream is highly encouraging and it just makes me want to re engage in the mission or "spiritual" aspect of my work here. As for the name change it feels like a superficial patch on a perceived problem. For some of the missionaries out here dealing with the title missionary is a chllenging but rewarding step in the mission process. Changing the name makes an often misunderstood ministry that much more opaque and hard to explain.
It is challenging living your faith so far from home, your friends, and comfort zone, but I guess that is a funny turn of phrase because "living your faith" requires faith or trust or love or that ever elusive peace. SO maybe I should say that the challenge is living away from home, friends, and comfort zones, and living your faith is what helps make it bearable. I have done a lot of thinking, and praying, and a little growing the last few months. Living here I can view current events from the periphery. Working with so many other cultures lets me see that greed, excess, and waste are not the exclusive domain of the U.S.. This has been a healthy time for me to see some of the broader conditions around. Granted there are some terrible terrible things being done in the world, and the folks at the bottom are quite a ways down there, but there is hope and love and all the good people doing their little parts in their little places to make it all a little better.