I feel after posting my blog on iPOC that I ought to tell you why I wrote it or what inspired me.
It was not listening to itunes while running and using my ipod. It is not because we are a family of four with three ipods. We actually had four until this winter when I came in from a run and put the ipod shuffle into my sweatsuit pocket. Little did I know it needed a wash but I have learned that while they wash nicely they do not seem to dry out very well. Thus we are a family with three and i have to now steal (i mean borrow) my wife's ipod shuffle. I also have to hide it as I run for it is pink or purple but that is another story.
I was inspired because i have a lot of volunteer groups that come over there to work on various projects and I use this tool to debrief each day. We are able as a mission team to look back and talk about what we prayed for, how God answered those prayers. We are able to note observations about the people and culture which help us understand some needs that may exist. From there we find relevant and natural ways to connect with the people.
As we talked one day one of the mission team participants said "you know, we can do this at home". I said, NO YOU CANT.. just kidding. Of course you can. You can do this anywhere. Again, it is not a program it is about living your life amongst the people as Jesus did. In mission talk this is "incarnational ministry". Wherever you are and whatever you are doing you represent Christ. You are His ambassadors. That has to be somewhere in the New Testament.
So I am a HUGE advocate of taking what you do overseas on a mission trip and making practical applications at your home. If you are willing to pay a lot of money to go to Mexico (for example but you could fill in the blank anywhere) then it would make sense that you would do all you could to minister to the Mexicans in your own city. If you are interested in reaching people from the 10/40 window in their country then we should be involved in doing it in our own city.
How do you do that?
Pray for them. Pray for opportunities
Observe the people and look for potential needs
Connect with them
Do it continuously