Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's All About People

 One of the things I was told by fellow MAF missionaries after concluding our training last summer at US headquarters (Nampa, Idaho) was the amount of opportunities that would present themselves to minister and counsel with people. I must confess that I really did not understand what my colleagues were referring to… until now.

With the various times we’ve had to present and discuss our work, there have been even more times to listen and care for people. I have begun to understand that full time ministry even while on deputation is a life revolved around people. It has been eye opening to realize that no matter what your gender, social or marital status is, we all face daily challenges that are painful and at times debilitating. It has been during those times when a friend will call or meet with me at a coffee shop that I feel most inept and powerless in offering any meaningful advice. All I do is listen and come to the conclusion that the most important thing is to offer a listening ear to my dear friend. Life’s burdens are meant to be shared with others. Scripture reminds us, Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ- Galatians 6:2.

Little did I know when I ceased being a public school teacher that the Lord would be using this season of my life to be a friend who ministers even when I sense I don’t have life’s answers.
A friend of many years called to confide about a struggle they were experiencing. I was thankful to be there because I was no longer bound by a work schedule that would forbid me to meet and pray with my friend. When we concluded our time together, I asked her to pray for me. She prayed that the Lord would give me the strength to persevere during this season of support raising and that our family’s faith would grow as He provides our every need.
In the following verse of Galatians, the Bible also goes on to say: If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.-Galatians 6:3. Therefore, as I listen and learn to put people above a to-do list, I experience grace from God AND from others.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Simply the Story Workshop - Feb 2010

Regina & I

One year ago this month, I flew to Idaho to be part of a Simply The Story story-telling workshop with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF.) The workshop was sponsored by CATCH ministry and held at Castle Hills Church of the Nazarene in Boise. The intent of the workshop was to teach the Nepalese Christian community how to lead interactive discussions on Bible passages as participants grasp truths and apply them to their daily living.
 The workshop was conducted by MAF’s orality specialist, Regina Manley and her team of volunteers. It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by men and women of faith who spoke Nepali and who through a translator where able to discuss the parables of Jesus by discovering the spiritual treasures and personal applications within the different stories.

CATCH & Nepalese Christians
As I participated in the three-day practitioner workshop, I realized what a blessing it was to see the parable of the Good Samaritan apply to any culture. More than thirty people gathered in circles of 5 people per group and listened to the twelve verses carefully. It was followed by the practitioner acting out the role of the priest, the Levite and by the Samaritan according to Luke 10:25-37. Next came the questions and the discussion that make this oral inductive bible study an incredible way to impact those who participate. At the end of the session, I was not only able to memorize the parable verse by verse but most importantly, appreciate the timeless story as my new Nepalese friend and I found the Good Samaritan still relevant in our daily lives.

Group Discussion
Although I was not an MAF missionary when I participated in the eighteen hour training session, I was beginning to sense that this was an area the Lord was preparing me for. The thought that I would be sharing the Word of God with people from different ethnic groups was a dream that I had had for many years. As a result of attending this captivating workshop, I began to ask God in my prayers to make a way for me to share His ageless stories with people groups from diverse places in the world. Since then, the Lord has answered my prayer and beginning this summer, I will have an opportunity to work with Regina Manley and the outstanding MAF-Learning Technologies team. -  Laura