Hello Metro! The MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) Retreat was a whirlwind of a trip. We feel very blessed to have had this opportunity to serve the MAF missionaries serving in Lesotho. Our outward tasks went well - I worked with Matt Randles to provide worship to the attendees, while Kate worked with Kim Doan, who lead the children's ministry. I have little to say here except that those who have the ability to govern a large group of children truly have a supernatural gifting. They are so hard to keep up with...
However, as we all know, Christians cannot be wholly given over to their tasks. The greater calling was to be present in a spirit of Love with the missionaries, and this was not lost on any of us. In fact, it was utterly beautiful. The foreign missionaries are by necessity a close-knit community both isolated and exposed within an unfamiliar environment and culture. I was amazed to find that this fit precisely with something I am very well-versed on - that is, the spiritual challenges faced by ancient Christian monastic communities, with whom the MAF team shares many similar spiritual struggles. In short, I could feel the God's providence over this trip, and over every individual encounter. Coming alongside the missionaries are local Besotho people who are partnered into MAF's mission. Here, I saw with such a degree of clarity what it means to be truly third-culture, which extends far beyond merely having diverse ethnicities gathered under a roof for a few hours on Sunday. Of course, these difficulties all serve the greater Divine purpose... we share with them the invitation to offer up true and lasting worship via the monumental battle of coming alongside one another in a spirit of self-emptying Divine Love.
As you can imagine, the Besotho and foreign missionaries of the MAF team are fighting heroically through all their challenges and many more. This was inspiring to us because it was a manifestation of heroic faith, not as perfected saints, but as normal people who share in the same struggles as the rest of us. I think this elevates the degree of their heroism, and raises the question of what we should be doing or be willing to do, if we would truly realize the privilege of calling ourselves Christians. It was such joy to meet them; how sad we were to leave! God bless the MAF team in Lesotho!