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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Creed or Christ?


Something has begun to disturb me. It started after I heard a fellow missionary say "He has left us, lets pray that he will come back". Now the context that this was said in is this; He was once a part of the church and now he is not. He is backsliding, gone astray or however you want to phrase it. But this brings to my mind a question. What is it that makes you "a part"? In this situation "He" had begun an improper relationship with a woman outside of marriage. So does that mean that as long as he doesn't do that than he is "a part"? I'm afraid not. I've had people ask me questions like "can a guy have two girlfriends and still be a Christian?" or "can you make bets at cock fights and still be a christian?". And to many times we direct them to "our creed" and don't hear the real question. Because what there really asking is; how much can I do and still be a part? How much can I do and not break my relationship with "?". So who is this relationship with "the creed", with the social group within our church or Christ. Because what they should be asking is "If I do this how will it effect my relationship with Christ?". Because what do we do? We tell people they are a sinner, we bring them into "our" church, teach them "our" Creed, make them walk like us, talk like us and then everything is good. Right? No. People say things like "they were so close". Close to what? A part of what? "Our creed" or Christ? Because Christianity is not about; whether your a Mennonite or a baptist or what you cant do if you want to go to heaven. Its about an active growing relationship with Christ, its about knowing Christ.
Christ did not tell us "make more people that put those little white things on there head" or "Make more people that were ties and tithe 15%". He said "feed my sheep" He said "make disciples"(of Christ). So next time you find yourself in one of these situations I challenge you to ask yourself. Am I making someone a good follower of my creed? or am I leading them to the well of living water, Jesus Christ. And I challenge you to ask yourself are you following a creed or are your following Christ?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rain


The month of May brought lot of rain to our part of the country. It seemed to rain almost every night (but not quite). But with the rain comes the consequences of deforestation,flooding. Not terrible massive floods, but enough to bring to our attention a small zone in the mountains maybe fifteen miles or so from the mission. It was told to us that there were close to sixty houses damaged by flood waters. So this past Wednesday we decided to hike up to this little village and see how much of what we heard was true.
I was not feeling very well that morning and was sceptical of hiking for several hours on an empty stomach but I went anyway (and don't regret it). After hiking up a long dry river bed we turned up the mountain into a small hollow, sort of flat hung between the two mountains, sprinkled with mud huts. Our group was kind of split up (due to some walking faster than others) And I ended up by myself with a local pastor showing me the way. After some questions I found out the village contained about one thousand people with a small Catholic church and school. The school was very small, Which meant that other children had to hike a good five miles to school(which I was shocked how many did).
Our finding were less severe than we had anticipated. Most of the damage to houses was mud huts that needed shoveled out and maybe a hole repaired. What I was more concerned with was the crop damage. What was once corn field now washed away and seemed to tell the future,empty stomachs, poor families, long days.
After more questions (and hiking) we found that the water came from a change of patterns in the drainage from further up the mountain. Not really a fixable problem without a couple million dollars to spend in excavation. The food however is going to be provided by local sources to relief food.Lord willing it will help the familys through till next planting season.