Swimming and His Kingdom
|Yesterday I went swimming at a local swimming pool close to Mitla, Mexico, where I am currently serving. I went with Julian who is 6 and Ruth, who is 8. Their dad is a pastor in this area and because of his work and the wages here, a summer swim is typically out of the question.|
I have known this family for years and have been staying with them the last couple of weeks. We have come to be close, communicating often and praying for each others families despite the distance between us.
So as I was coming to the close of my time in Southern Mexico for 2009, I had an idea. Why not have a couple members of my team join me, and take the kids to a public pool, giving them a great day, and their parents some much needed alone time together to hang out, or get some projects done?
We arrived at 11:30am and stayed until the place closed at 5:00pm. Now I'll admit, spending most of the day swimming, flying down water slides and just chillin' is not your typical mission activity. But to me, the church needs to do a lot more of this type of stuff.
Things like learning about the lives of people can give you incredible insight into a culture and how to effectively serve. When you spend time listening, you can really begin to see where you can make a difference.
This year, because of a weak US economy, increased violence in Mexico, and the Swine Flu, less people have served with us than in the past. That has given me more time to just spend with locals here in Mexico.
It is that time that has allowed me to see that a pastors kids just need a fun day. Or someone needs an invitation for a cup of coffee. Or a local church member desperately needs a shoulder to cry on.
None of this happens when you are swallowed up in the busyness of ministry. It happens when you stop, take a breather, and look around.
And see that stuff like swimming can be used to bring people a little closer to God's Kingdom.
(for more of dave's thoughts on short-term mission, check out his ministry blog at www.ailministry.blogspot.com)