Serving Those Who Serve
11th Minute of the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month
As we get closer to Armistice Day/Veterans’ Day, I am reminded of our responsibility to support those who have given so much for our Bill of Rights. I for one am grateful for those who gave their lives, or the lives of their sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands. There are those who served for one tour and those who served for a career. There are women who served in the military, and there are women who served by supporting those who served. Each one serves an important role in our nation’s wars and conflicts – our nation should be grateful for the smallest of sacrifices.
I have been struck by the role of the military over the years. I appreciate the soldiers, airmen, seamen, and marines that choose to give the best years of their lives to the service of the country – and history has taught us some valuable lessons about what this support should look like. This has led to a large chaplain corps and we as a nation are much better at how we inform the next of kin about the sacrifices made on our behalf. We do a better job of welcoming home our military personnel, and we are much more aware of the unique challenges that these servants face.
Those of us who have not faced the horror of the battlefield don’t have much of a paradigm for the struggles that each one of these returning airmen or soldiers have faced or will face, (seamen and marines as well, but there are so few of them here, that I left them out!). The failures that result from this is either believing that we have nothing to offer, or we think that we totally understand their struggle – both are equally wrong.
We have a similar struggle in the Church today with those we have sent out as peacemakers and ambassadors of Christ – those who have given their lives in service to the King. As these workers return from service, there are those in the Church who think they understand – but don’t. There are those who know that they don’t understand – so they don’t try. Missionaries and their children tend to wander through churches looking for a place where they belong. Some just give up, while others just need to close that chapter of their lives and move on.
We all need to find our identity in Christ – not in what we do or what our parents do.
This January, Terasue and I are going to be leading a small team to Mexico to serve the children of these ministers to the Latin American Church. Our goal is to come alongside these kids and listen to them, their unique needs, and ultimately connect them to their identity in Christ.
If you are willing to try and understand TCKs, (kids who are growing up in a culture that distinct from that of their parents’ culture), then we would love to have you join us January 25-31 in Mexico. We will be spending the first 2 days in Guadalajara experiencing what the Alliance is doing in that city. The next 4 days are going to be engaging the children of our ministers in Latin America in conversations around identity. If you are interested in going, we will need a $300 deposit per person by this Sunday, November 3. We are hoping to raise the rest of this money by the time we leave so that each person doesn’t have to cover the full expense themselves. Request to join the Mexico 2020 Mission Experience in MyHarvest (just click the MyHarvest button and search groups) by Sunday, November 3 if you want to go. If you want to financially support those who are going, just give to Mexico 2020 online (just click the give button at the top of the website).