Saturday, September 6, 2008

Observational Update

I haven't written in a while. I haven't felt completely inspired to write, but I feel I should at least update you guys on what's going on (since that's why I started this in the first place). So the last time I updated on here, I was still in Brazil, only days away from leaving. I wasn't very happy with certain people I was on mission with either at the time. Since then, that issue has been resolved and everything is fine again.

I also had written about a project that I really cared about falling through. Sadly, it did fall through completely. I was very down about it but was given a second opportunity for a video. The school on the YWAM base has no teachers. Those who have taken on the responsibilities of teaching are full-time missionaries and parents (which means they really don't have the time to be doing this). It's so much more work for them than they really should be taking on and it's hard to handle sometimes as 1 woman is teaching 4 different grade levels everyday! That would get pretty stressful. Well, I was asked to do a promotional video for them (3 days before we left - due in 2 days) with interviews and footage showing the children and school and asking for teachers to please come and commit some time to teaching at the school in Brazil.

I hope to have this video up on my filmmaker's myspace soon. It turned out really well and was a great encouragement to me. I really am happy with how it turned out and what it will hopefully accomplish for this base. There was a lot of complaining, including and especially by myself, that we did nothing but stay on the base. I had a very hard time understanding why we were there. I wanted to go into town and play with the street kids and help those suffering in slavery by documenting it and getting a non-profit from the US or UK involved in helping free them. None of that happened though. We didn't leave the base. We didn't go anywhere. We stayed on the base.

But does that mean I didn't do anything or do anything worthwhile while I was there? In the moment, and I know a lot of those who were there with me will agree, that it felt like we weren't doing anything. It felt like a wasted trip. Looking back though, was it really? Why does an outreach have to always be about saving this many people and preaching to this many people and all that? Why are our minds so hung up on this? I don't even like street evangelism and didn't want to do it (that's just not how I am. I feel convicted about it, for me - not saying it's wrong, I just can't do it). So why so hung up? I guess I built up to many expectations for what outreach would be like and when it wasn't the way my mind thought it would be, I was disappointed.

But what about servanthood? What about serving those who need it, including Christians? Why do we assume that since we're on a missionary base, that by being there, we're not helping? Why'd I do that? Why'd I think that? Looking back, I can see now how we were there for those people, for the other missionaries who live in Brazil. Not just with the promotional videos we made for the base to help the base, but even working in the kitchen when they needed us to, playing volleyball and hanging out with them, playing with their kids (cutest kids). Why aren't those helping? Why isn't encouragement considered serving?

I look back now and, while I would still probably change aspects of the outreach, I can't actually say it was a waste. If even one of the videos we did helps that base, then isn't that fully worth it? If one child there was very happy that we came and found so much joy in playing with us, if the burden in the kitchen was lessened because of us working in there, well isn't that what it's all about? Did we do good there after all?

Yeah, just not how we thought.

Now, I'm on my second week back in Hawaii (comin' home to Pittsburgh on Monday) and have been working pretty much since I got back. I am now staff here for The Redemption Project, which was started partially by a friend of mine from back in Pittsburgh, who was out here working with YWAM (and helped convince me to come to YWAM). So, being staff now (which is unpaid - missionaries don't get paid), I've had a lot of work to do.

Right now, a lot of different seminars and conferences are taking place in YWAM Kona. The leader I work under in the Redemption Project, Luke, was Kona's coordinator for the Government Strategy Conference here. Since I'm the only other Redemption Project staff here, I have been helping him with preparing for those who would be attending. I slaved over my computer making a booket with the information for the weekend, Networking Platform, and stories from speakers experiences. It turned out very nice though.

On Monday night, I fly out of Kona and arrive in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. So that is a slight update for what I've been doing lately. Hope to see most of you during my visit to Pittsburgh!

If you want good music - listen to Rocky Votolato. It'll change your life (acoustic folk. Amazing)

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