Posts tagged ‘unreached peoples’

Packing for no reason. Only Jesus.

We are 6 days from moving to NW Narnia and this move feels altogether different from any we have had before. From the Philippines, to the Marianas, to urban Minneapolis- St. Paul, Savannah (and of course multiple apartments in each of those places) – this one is pretty simple. I remember a move in Minneapolis that took us less than 3 hours because we are professionals and had like 20 people helping us. Lots of furniture, lots of boxes, a U-Haul. . . all that stuff. The thing that strikes me about this move is that we are attempting to pack for the simplest life we can. There is a sense of taking what you need, but there is also a real sense of taking as little as possible. I’m thankful that we sold all of our things except for what fit into our Oldsmobile Alero before coming out to Narnia.

We will be sharing a place in a larger village community where the population is about 3,000. There is a small Christian presence in this area and we will use it as a base in the NW where some of us come for breaks, do administrative work, and come alongside churches in the area. And extremely nice and trusted Narnian friend has set us up by offering his own house to rent which is already furnished. He said he needed a place to put all his stuff when he rented it so it worked out well for our growing team to be able to use his place and just use what he already had there.

The simplicity comes about a week or two after we get settled in this larger hub. We’ll then move up the trail putting some supplies on donkeys, paying porters, and move into the village to join the rest of the team. What do you really need other than a few things to sit on, some dishes with which to eat, and something to sleep on? Yeah, you really don’t need much. Janessa and I have always tried to live simply and incarnationally but I feel like this is the biggest test we’ve ever had. We’ll be living with at least one other teammate, sharing a house, sharing meals, and likely live in a larger compound (sort of like duplexes) with 2 other Narnian families. We’ll share a water tap, courtyard, and outhouse. There really isn’t a word or concept for privacy in this culture and language. Our potential place to live is pretty close to the center of the village. People will constantly walking by the trail next to our place. A small store (one of the only around) is right by our place. Kids galore. And the fact that we’re the only white people for miles and miles will certainly be a sight to behold.

It is within this framework that we’ll attempt to live out these buzzwords of Christian community and be incarnational. You don’t really ever leave, clock out, or take a siesta. All the language learning and desire for simple living will come to a head. Our team has made it mandatory for one of us to leave the village every 6 weeks for one week because of the intense community and lack of privacy there will be. We signed up for this life and it is not something we dread. The Lord of all Creation has invited us into His beautiful Kingdom and given us the opportunity to proclaim and demonstrate His reality amongst our neighbors. This privilege is a gift and one that our team is constantly reminded of. Incarnational, simple living, communal lifestyle – slice it any way you want it and use the nicest buzz words you can. . . we’re just thrilled and can’t believe we get to do this.

So as we pack, we think of what not to pack. There are details to work out for sure, but the key is to constantly lay our hearts and faces before Jesus asking for the Spirit of God to come in power. The years of preparation and story of how we fell in love with the Narnian people isn’t something that just sort of happened. Lots of things have been poured into this moment and we don’t want to miss out on the journey because we’re overly concerned about what kind of phone or how many bowls to bring up. May the abiding in Jesus continue. I’m reminded of the experience of my last blog and how I chatted with my teacher. “He is all we need. Only Jesus. Just Jesus. Only Him.

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Serving by helping us serve

As many of you know, we are in a pretty dire need for workers to come out here and contribute to the work in rural Narnia. If you are in transition, have felt God calling you for a long time, or simply want to give 3-12 months to becoming more like Jesus in service to hi/the discipleship process, please consider coming out.

General Team Member Summary:

“The Team” is the Job Description
As we invite people to come work with us, we are very aware of the need to define roles and meet realistic expectations. It Conflict almost always arises in mission work when expectations are not clarified and to that end we want to clearly assert that being a team member is by far the most necessary realization for anyone coming to serve with us. For years, villagers in our area have seen a society that is broken and it is that brokenness and gossip about it that dominates many conversations on the hillside of Narnia. NGO’s and other organizations have come to many areas of the country and done a lot of projects to help the society. Our goal, however, is a bit different. We are trying to show our village who Jesus is. With the team living together or in close proximity, every single villager will know when we laugh, when we fight, when we show peace, when we tell the story of Jesus, and everything in between. This harmony and unity will be the most important piece to showing what a transformed community looks like. So as you come, your most necessary realization is that you are now part of a team that embraces daily servanthood with people very different from you. That gets practically worked out in helping with a little farm, doing house chores (fetching water, cooking over a fire, cleaning), being part of at least one concentrated area of ministry upon arrival, participating in weekly house church services, and assisting in the communication of the Gospel with story-telling/skits as needed. This is just part and parcel of being on our team and participating in our Jesus-community.

Specific Description:
We are looking for someone willing to serve for 3 months-2 years alongside our Jesus-community who is committed to showing who Jesus is to villagers from a Hindu society. The proclamation piece of our holistic model is met primarily through Gospel story-telling. Areas of potential service will include farming/gardening, hospitality, serving in a local school teaching English, providing basic medical training and treatment or participating in a women’s widow friendship group. A shorter length of service means that you will likely have limited Narnian speaking skills; there must be a high emphasis on working hard and showing the Gospel to the community. Upon arrival each member will work to discover their niche and gain coaching, encouragement, and discipling from older team members on serving unreached peoples.

Job Duties:
The person needed will do general manual labor such as hauling water, cooking, assists with gardening, contributing to Gospel story-telling, participating in weekly team meetings and house church fellowship, assisting or leading one of the above mentioned daily ministries. Above all of these duties, the person in this role will have a strong prayer and devotional life, have a strong desire and initiative to learn the Narnian language, embrace servanthood, strive to live in unity with the team, and desire to learn from villagers on how to live in a new context. Further, the team member will embrace the reality that the village is their home and that this life is not something merely to be endured until they go to the city. This is your new life in the Kingdom of God.

Using your Professional Skills to Serve
In line with our mission to bring community transformation to a village community in Northwest Narnia, we are interested in talking with college students and those with professional skills who have a calling to serve Jesus, work alongside those in the community, and help pioneer a move towards transformation in their field.

Walking Together
Any worker, regardless of their field of expertise, comes in with the assumption that the community itself holds the keys for community transformation. As the unreached experience the power and love of Christ, slowly we see a society changed. All should realize they are called to walk alongside and have power-under Kingdom mindset. Christ came to serve and give his life; we do the same as we walk with villagers together in demonstrating Kingdom transformation.

Love for Jesus and the Narnian People
Without flinching, this is what must bleed out of any potential work. Life and labor in our village is too difficult and there are too many frustrations for the first requirement to be a “professional in your field”. First and foremost, the potential worker must be compelled by the love of Jesus and guided by His Spirit. This is so critical and an underlying assumption for all on our team.

Broad Areas of Focus
1. College Students who want to experience serving the unreached in community transformation
As part of your discipleship process, we believe our team has an incredible opportunity to live among rural villagers in NW Nepal learning what it means to serve on a team, announcing and demonstrating the Kingdom of God. You will learn language, see Gospel storying happen among the unreached, and participate in community-wide, community-driven development.
2. Education Specialist
Education and literacy are lacking in our region but many villagers have taken up the challenge to provide quality education in their villages. A person is needed to come alongside the local schools, provide encouragement and cooperation, and develop discipleship relationships with staff and students. Education specialists are also needed to develop extracurricular activities along with parents in the village and teach a day or two a week to teammate’s children. There is also a need for conversational English for graduating secondary school students as many will move to the capital city to work or go to college. This hodgepodge of activity will strengthen and support the system villagers have established and inspire creativity amongst each other.
3. Agricultural and Environmental Specialist
Everyone in our community is a farmer and it is this life-work that surround social and religious activities. Poor irrigation systems and polluted water is a major problem in the village. Training and walking alongside to bring these improvements is necessary as well as the development of rooftop gardens for the team.
4. Healthcare Workers
There is a tiny health post in our village with the nearest hospital being several hours walk away. Servants are needed to come alongside the Nepali staff at the health post providing care in their area of expertise and training to other healthcare workers. Discipleship relationships and demonstrating Kingdom ethics are paramount for someone in this role.

A Pioneer Spirit Using Local Resources
All who come to the team must bring a pioneer spirit as they will likely be one of the first in their area of service to speak into our context. Their voice will be one of the first from outside the community to ever be heard. This is why it is so important to both facilitate trust and have a pioneering spirit to start new initiatives that have never been done before. Further, such work will come from local resources in a way that is sustainable and can be multiplied.