Sunday, April 24, 2011

Clarifying our Call

We have arrived back home after a lovely week in the Normandy region of France. We are rested, refreshed, and even a little bit suntanned. During our time away, I had the opportunity to reflect on the many things that God has been showing us lately. Here is just a glimpse of ONE of the things we are pondering:

Our week of vacation immediately followed a crazy-busy week of back-to-back training conferences where David and I had been learning about church planting models, about how to apply those models in the French context, about leadership development, about ourselves, about our mission organization, and about many things which are big and far beyond the scope of our imagination. In the midst of that week, when I was feeling overwhelmed by the quantity of information that was coming at me, I found a moment to sneak away by myself.

Feeling completely ill-equipped to be a missionary and thoroughly under-qualified for the enormous task of reaching France for Jesus, I flopped on my bed, put a pillow over my head, and prayed.

"Lord," I moaned wearily, "we are here to do whatever YOU want for us to do. But I really wish you would show me what that is!"

His answer came immediately, in the form of a picture. I saw, in my mind's eye, a young child gently blowing on a dandelion, and tiny seeds being carried away on the wind.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I know that this one spoke volumes to me. First of all, we had been learning about Church Planting. Since David and I are not pastors, we have been trying to figure out how God wants us to participate in planting churches in France. During our time in Germany, we met some young seminary students and graduates who are called to plant churches in France, but they were unsupported, floundering, and weary--though they had only JUST begun. David and I feel like God is leading us to support and encourage these young French church gently blow on these "seeds" that God already has in France...and to help them get to the place where they are carried by the Spirit to plant His church.

I am struck by the fact that this calling, which had been weighing heavily on me, was shown to be child's play! The vision--to reach France with the love of Jesus-- is still HUGE, and bigger than we can conceive. But the task--to encourage French church planters--is now something that we can grasp. David and I must stay close to the Father to know which "dandelions" He has chosen for us and which "direction" He would have us to blow. Oh the joy of feeling called to the impossible by a God for whom all things are a God who turns a daunting task into child's play.

I shared the picture with David, and it resonated as deeply with him as it did with me. This is our call. This is why we are in France.

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