Friday, January 27, 2012

The Grass is Greener

So here's the irony about my trip to Kharkov to visit with the mission team there.

Before I left there were some things that, I wasn't really complaining about, but that I would've liked to be different in regards to the mission work I'm doing.

First off, there was a part of me that at times thought it would be a lot nicer to be working with a church plant rather than an established congregation. Why? Because I felt like there would be more for me to do, more ways to reach out, to get involved. Not that I don't do anything at Neva, but sometimes you don't feel like you're being effective or really doing anything.

Secondly, I thought it would be awesome if there was a team here. Or, rather, that I was part of a team. It would be so nice to have the support of a group of same-culture people who had shared experiences and could be there when I got down. In turn, I could help and support them. And we could all work together to help the church here.

So I went to Kharkov because I wanted to learn about the work the team was doing there and one of the biggest things I learned is that the grass is always greener. I mean, we knew this already, but it's interesting in the way it was reinforced. I think God was trying to tell me something because I had several conversations with people that specifically addressed these specific things.

I learned that being on a team has its own set of problems. Sometimes it can cause you to want to stay insulated with the people who are like-cultured. Sometimes it can keep you from interacting more with natives. And as with any family, sometimes you have to do things you'd rather not  in order to accommodate your teammates. It's a give and take.

One evening, I was talking with some different people about what they liked and didn't like about working in Kharkov. One person specifically said "Sometimes I wish we were working with an established congregation instead of a church plant. I think there'd be more for us to do" which again made me stop and think. The irony was not lost on me. And I think I even said something about how sometimes I wished the opposite.

I'm not saying people who go on teams or on church plants are wrong or should do it a different way. Nor am I saying the way I'm doing it is the best way either. What I'm saying is that the most important thing I learned is to be content. God put me here for a reason and he put the team in Kharkov for a reason and though there are times we all want things to be different, the bottom line is that there are advantages and disadvantages to every situation. So we need to take a step back and look at those things.

Besides, at the end of the day the most important thing is that God is glorified and people come to know him. After all, that is our ultimate goal. 

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