Today’s Word: ‘mission’ as in… sometimes the mission work happens closer to home — like, right inside of our own hearts and lives.
During my second year at Luther Seminary I was working with my advisor on a dream I had to spend a year of pastoral internship in Arusha, Tanzania.
Then I met a girl.
At about the same time Nancy Lee was working on a dream of her own; planning to spend some time in India with one of her closest friends from college working together with the Sisters of Charity and Mother Teresa in Calcutta.
Then she met a boy.
So that girl and that boy made some decisions: first, to postpone their travel plans, and second, to be married. Best decisions they ever made.
Fast-forward thirty-seven years, and Tanzania is now in me, and of course, something happened along the way. With the (hopefully) now familiar series of thriving rhythms humming inside me, there’s a broader awareness of the Spirit’s movement; there is joy over creative inspirations that happen as a result of making connections with new friends, building new partnerships, establishing new goals; there’s a heightened sense of new ways of being present in each moment and learning what the Tanzanians mean when they say “You’ve got the watches, we’ve got the time!”
There are ample reasons to express gratitude not the least of which was the generous hospitality of the 10 year old kid who ran the entire last mile of the dirt road leading into the remote village. Next to the jeep. In ankle-deep dust and dirt. Barefoot. Singing. Smiling. Laughing. Shouting. And then there’s the mission aspect. Ironic, isn’t it, that the real mission work that was done was the mission work done in my heart.
Who knew that the internship I’d planned 37 years ago would happen over a two week period of time in July 2019.