Local Foreign: Mission Questions #6
If by thinking through all my questions you've decided that sharing your faith is important, how do you know where God is calling you to share?
Most of the time I hear people talking about sharing their faith as "going on a mission trip," meaning going to a foreign country, usually a poorer, browner one. But with my recent participation in a formal short-term mission trip, I saw how much the troubles of Salvadorans mirrored the troubles of the people in my own backyard. While their poverty was at a deeper level, some had faith stronger than my own and others had confusion about grace and their own lovability exactly like the pain I see in my own community.
I was able to do financially expensive, short-term cold-turkey evangelism in El Salvador. Would I be willing to do less glorious, financially cheaper, long-term relational mission work here?
Sharing faith in a cross-cultural, international way can be good, but what would it look like to share faith (perhaps more regularly) in the local "foreign territories" we have access to right here in the good ol' U S of A? Could that be an equally accurate, just as important understanding of the calling?
For instance, I'm a white/native, middle-class, cis-gendered, working mom of three neurotypical kids in a heterosexual marriage. I go to church and have married, living, Boomer parents. I've never been hated for my sexuality or my skin color. I don't know what it's like to worry about what I will eat. I don't regularly have to feel uncomfortable... if I don't want to. There are plenty of spaces that would feel like foreign territory to me, but I would have to choose to go there. I don't have to be vulnerable. Am I willing?
To say that I am called to share my faith in foreign territory doesn't mean I've got to sign up for another trip to Central America. But it does mean I need to be humbly willing to step into the very next place I can be voluntarily uncomfortable.
What local foreign territories are you called to?
Are you willing to be uncomfortable to share the love of the God you know?
Even if it means staying right here in the inglorious local community?
Unsplash: Bernd Dittrich