I recently returned form a “missions-trip” (very weak definition by the way) and most of you who follow me know where I went…I am refraining from mentioning it by name out of respect and in order to maintain the open doors that were created in the process of going…
To suggest that my trip out of the country was “life changing” is to underestimate the impact it is having upon my world, my world-view and my direction in life.
Martin Scott had given me some advice that was incredibly prophetic, as he is known to be, about relationships, open doors, connections and a new door of life for me…all of which the trip accomplished in ways beyond my comprehension.
Because of the nature of the shift that happened “in” me a few blogs will not suffice, so I will transitionally try to communicate some of the life changes I am embarking on in the very immediate future.
This first blog will attempt to describe what I would call the spiritual climate of a nation…the connection to land and how that affects people and behaviors…if you were born in this island you will identify immediately with the things I am saying because they are obvious, but perhaps buried under culture and difference.
The picture above is one of many “bridges to nowhere” that are on the island…when the USSR pulled out of the island there were many such projects left completely unfinished…this became a metaphor that the Lord used to open my heart to the people left behind.
This island has endured the brunt of empires both near and far that have tried to dictate its destiny, and then in turn simply abandoned it to fend for itself…Spain at one time actually suppressed the people in what most social anthropologist refer to as the “genesis of the modern concentration camp”…they referred to them as “reconcentrados” described by international observers as “fortified cities” in this season of the late 1800’s nearly 200,000-400,000 civilians died of starvation and disease in these concentration camps, numbers verified by the Red Cross…
So as I landed in the main city, I was surprised to hear the Lord say to my heart “Honor those who have been stewards of the land”…Honor would become a dominant theme on the trip, and it would open my eyes to both my own country and other nations and the need for a biblical understanding and not simply a cultural head-nod as has been my experience. Honoring those who had been stewards of the land would seem counter-intuitive for someone like me who comes from a Democratic republic…how do you honor what in my world would be “oppression”?
But honor is a kingdom key and perhaps this is where the phrase “kenarchy” carries weight, you cannot change something you refuse to honor…
What I discovered was you can talk about a culture of honor all you want, and it is a fairly common theme now in our contemporary Western church, books and seminars having instructed us on the process, but honor cannot be achieved without “value” and value requires expending resources towards the object of value…you can claim a culture of honor all you want, but if you do not invest actual resources yourself into the people you value, you are just making noise.
I discovered Apostles who would do without in order to empower and equip their people, a man who saved his own salary for nearly a year in order to buy a house for another pastor from a different stream who had been kicked out of his traditional church and had no house…giving with no strings attached…all because of value…which in turn created honor, which resulted in what we like to call revival and Holy Ghost celebrations.
In spite of being abandoned by empire there is a core group of people who are radically changing the face of a nation by remaining faceless themselves…working extra in order to give to others so they can have their own businesses and jobs.
The average income on the island is about $15.00 a month…now of course they don’t have housing cost since most houses are handed down or bought and sold in one fell swoop, but the rest of life the cost remains much the same as for us…how these people survive with such joy and effectiveness is a miracle in itself.
The people there will require an entire blog just to describe…they are truly the most beautiful people I have ever encountered, but what is unavoidable is the culture of son-ship that has been created by Leann Goff and Leif Hetland…churches planted in the majority of the provinces, connections and celebrations that demonstrate the Kingdom of God transforming a country on the brink of momentous change…the kingdom is working at a frantic pace to get underneath the culture and establish the seven mountains, they are serious about, have a spirit of excellence unlike any I have seen and start everything on time in the most joy filled manner you can encounter…truly ‘Sons and Daughters” of the King of Heaven.
I did not know what to expect, but as a rule you kind of make assumptions and hope to land somewhere close…the national climate is still one of limitation, control, and the residue of empire resonates in the infrastructure…but into that climate a family of sons and daughters is honoring and bringing change that even the government is noticing…leaders impacting entire neighborhoods and cities with love and peace…and bringing a kingdom value to a nation that has endured the orphan spirit for centuries…
I will go back.
I must go back.
My gifts and my history have uniquely painted me into a place where I can help in the most practical ways possible…it was a Divine moment where my history intersected with my future and a people captured my heart…
One final thought…as I look at my experiences of the last year, the wilderness journey and being “kicked out” of empire I have realized I was set up by my Father…He wanted my heart prepared to identify what an entire nation has been going through for centuries…and my discovery in the wilderness has been primarily my son-ship…it was if the Lord intentionally gave me a lifetime of isolation and trauma in a short and brutal season so that I could find my heart…a heart that is now deeply connected to my family in an island of promise…
I am excited to say the least…and this will require massive life changes, relocating and submission to open doors…but its my destiny…how can I say no?