Sunday, December 28, 2008

Come With Me to Africa

Originally posted June 6, 2008
Why is it that when we think of missionaries we think of "older" people that are "really nice" and "are doing neat things for God." (yay God!) We might imagine them as having couple of very quiet, obedient, and smart children (at least when they are young).  These same children will most assuredly be the wildest teenagers of the youth group that will eventually leave the Church and live their lives in a non traditional yet politically correct manner. Of course we won't talk much about their kids... except with my close close friends that can be discreet.  In a moment of honesty we would have to admit that if that same missionary couple lived in our city we wouldn't necessarily run in the same social circles.  What I mean is I wouldn't invite "Missionary Mike" to my house on Friday night for pizza, beer, and poker.  I would, however, happily bring him and his family the box of "hand me downs" that we couldn't sell at the garage sale because they might be home on furlough (from the deepest regions of Africa) and don't have a lot of money for the luxuries of life like clothes or furniture. It's cool though because they are used to living in houses with dirt floors so anything they get to use here will certainly be considered an "upgrade." When Missionary Mike and his wife Theresa (mother to the children) speak at the annual missions conference at church... well, let's face it, they are probably gonna be boring as anything!  I'll probably find any excuse I can to go to Carl's Jr. during second service so I don't have to sit through the entire presentation on how by the year 2020 there will be more Christians in Africa then there will be people.  I mean it in the nicest possible way but... THANK GOD I'm not called to be a missionary!

errr wait...         

Well here I am 40 years old and I suppose it might be fair to describe what I've been going through lately as a "mid life crisis."  A mid-life crisis is stereo typically going out and getting a sports car or a girlfriend.  (I haven't done either one by the way)  Really what happens is a man realizes intimately that he is not going to live forever and asks the question "Why am I not doing the things that I WANT to do"  For me it was the realization that I don't want to go through the rest of my life building, fixing, looking for, or selling widgets. 

I've been wrestling with the question "What REALLY matters?"  The answer is somewhat of a moving target.  I know this... Becky and I LOVE people and between us have many spiritual gifts that, frankly, we aren't using.  Well it's time. 

My wife Becky and I have decided to become missionaries.  No we aren't going to go to Africa, in fact, we are not even going to be leaving Roseville, the city we live in.  We are going on staff with Young Life in the South Placer County Area.

  Young Life brings the good news of Jesus Christ into the lives of adolescents with an approach that is respectful of who kids are and hopeful about who they can be.

Specifically, we are going to be working with the high schools in the Roseville Joint Union School District. Becky and I are right now helping to start an all city Young Life Club that would include students from serveral of the high schools in the area.  Last year I started my coaching career as a volunteer on the freshman football squad at Woodcreek High School and hopefully coaching will serve as a springboard for the "Contact Work" that is such a huge part of the Young Life Model.  Becky and I want to model Christ incarnationally to these kids that we believe deserve hearing about Him. 

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