During much of orientation we were invited to reflect on our purpose for pursuing mission. What led me to this point in my life? What is my personal mission? Why this program? Why now? All very good questions, and all questions that I had trouble answering. I knew in my heart what my purpose was for mission, but for some reason I was having a hard time writing it out in words.
|My view as I sat working on my mission statement|
So there I was sitting outside staring at a blank piece of paper with the words "create a statement of purpose." At that point I was thinking about everything else BUT my personal mission. Instead of sitting there in silence, I decided it was necessary to put on a little bit of background music. I have always felt God's presence through music, and I knew I needed God's guidance more than ever to finish the task at hand. And plus, if I couldn't come up with the words myself, why not just steal someone else's! The first song that came on was a Brandon Heath song called "Love Does". It was the first time I had heard the song, but it was written based on a book called "Love Does" by Bob Goff. I read this book a couple months ago after a friend recommended it to me, and then I read it a second and third time. In this book, Bob Goff talks about discovering an incredible life in an ordinary world by doing one simple thing: loving one another. He talks about really living your life by saying "yes" to opportunities and putting love into action. My favorite line from the book states, "Love is never stationary. LOVE DOES." And there I had it. My personal mission-Love Does. God chooses ordinary people like you and me to make a difference by getting to the "do" part of faith. Love doesn't just keep thinking about it or planning for it. Love does. This is exactly what I have been called to do--to live a life in South Sudan where I am a vessel of Christ's love to people around me.
What seemed like a daunting task turned out to be the easy part. The hard part will be living out this personal mission. After hearing the song "Love Does," I jotted down those words on my paper and even had some time to spare. So I flipped through my Bible and stumbled across a verse that I had previously highlighted. It was Colossians 3:12-14 "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection." I knew I highlighted this verse for a reason! Put on love. I have the decision each day to put on love, just like its an article of clothing. To drape myself in Christ's love and share that same love with those I encounter. It is as simple as that. Every morning when I wake up, I get the invitation to live a life of complete engagement, a life where love does. This is my mission.
|Bags are packed and ready to go!|
What I had thought would be a page long personal mission statement turned out to be two words: Love does. It is a call to action, a call to say "yes," a call to serve, a call to be present, a call to love.
Tomorrow is the big day. Only three flights and a 22 hour layover stand between me and this new, exciting adventure. South Sudan, here I come--all for the greater glory of God!