In a temporary place

In mid-2015, we responded to God's call to move to Nepal. With two young boys, we knew it wouldn't be easy; we prepared ourselves as best we could to face the challenges of settling into one of the least developed countries in the world. Little did we know, however, that an even greater challenge awaited us: the challenge of being on the move.

It took several months for us to adapt to our new life in Nepal: new language and culture, new house and community, new school for the kids, new workplace and expectations. Yet, despite shortages in electricity and gas and petrol, we were finding our feet. We were starting to thrive.

Then we got the news: to comply with changing visa requirements, we, with all the expats in our organisation, would have to leave the country. There was no certainty about when we could return, though it was hoped it could be within a few months.

A few months turned into many months, and we found ourselves making makeshift homes in two different countries while we waited.

Of the two places, we spent the most time in Malaysia. There, God provided for us in an extraordinary way, organising everything we needed to set up a temporary base. Yet, we longed to return to Nepal. We wanted to go back to the home we had set up, pursue the language we had worked so hard to acquire and continue the work we were excited about. Longing turned to aching turned to despair. Being in limbo was much harder than we could have anticipated.

It was also in Malaysia that we spent time with a refugee and migrant ministry serving the needs of asylum seekers and migrant workers. Speaking and sharing with some of these asylum seekers, we realised that there were common questions we all shared about our lives. We were all in a temporary place, wondering about our and our children’s futures.

The humbling difference was, however, that we had an irrevocable Australian passport. They had no safety net. There was no guarantee they would be accepted by any country and, therefore, no certainty of safe work or education for their children. Their limbo stretched so much longer and deeper than ours. And many of them did not know the restful arms of the Saviour or the hope of His promises.

Our sense of uncertainty – with its accompanying confusion, frustration and despair – was but a tiny glimpse into their experience. As these communities continued their agonising wait upon an increasingly begrudging world to accept them, we could see they were at great risk of mental health and social problems.

When it finally came time for us to return to Nepal, we left Malaysia still uncertain of our futures. We had been able to obtain only tourist visas, our work roles were unclear, our son would be starting in only a temporary school (his fourth in 18 months) – we had little idea what 2017 would bring. In our confusion and frustration, we continued to turn to the Father, looking to His sovereignty, victory and goodness.

Bidding farewell to our new asylum-seeker friends, we wondered and worried of the even greater uncertainties that awaited them. Could they be re-settled? Where? When? Would those still waiting for their interview with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) be granted refugee status? Could those whose families had been split be reunited?

We are grateful for those we met who are committed to walking with migrants and work hard at supporting them through this trying and lengthy limbo. Our hope for them in this uncertain and changing world is that they would find some security and stability. More so, we hope they will take up that most valuable and precious citizenship – irrevocable – in the kingdom of the unchanging and victorious Father.

Grace and Huy served with Interserve in Nepal and Malaysia.
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FACT BOX
Refugees in Malaysia

There are no refugee camps in Malaysia. Instead, refugees live in cities and towns across Malaysia in low-cost flats or houses side by side local Malaysian homes. This presents a unique opportunity to come alongside refugees to offer practical, emotional and spiritual support.

Refugees have no access to legal employment, but are allowed to work in the informal sector. They tend to work in jobs that the local population does not wish to take (the 3D jobs: dirty, dangerous and difficult) and are at risk of exploitation.

Refugee children do not have access to formal education.

Refugees are able to access healthcare facilities in Malaysia, but the cost of treatment and refugees' irregular income make healthcare unaffordable to many.

Faith-based organisations play a vital role in caring for the practical, emotional and spiritual needs of refugees and migrants throughout Asia and the Arab world. There is a great need for personnel. Would you like to be involved in Malaysia or other areas? Visit interserve.org.au/serve

For information about refugees in Malaysia, visit www.unhcr.org.my

Mountains to beaches

Drolma* tells her story to her new friend as they sit on the beach.

My story began in a place very different to here. My family lived on “the roof of the world”. They are extremely religious – even here, my parents are always muttering mantras as they finger their beads, and I’ve had to beg Mum not to walk down the street spinning her prayer wheel because it is so embarrassing. My uncle was a monk,– a really good monk. One problem, though, was that his monastery wasn’t allowed to have monks anymore. As if being an illegal monk wasn’t dangerous enough, one time he stood in his maroon robes on the town square and told everyone who would listen that he hoped that His Holiness could one day come back to lead our people. Of course, my uncle was arrested. It’s good that he didn’t set fire to himself – some monks do, you know, as a public way of showing despair.

My grandfather and dad were questioned at length. The truth is that they were sympathetic to my uncle’s cause, and they knew too much. My grandparents decided that they and my parents should flee.

After careful planning, including getting together as much cash as they could, my parents and grandparents slipped away. They were okay while hidden in the back of a truck that took them towards the border, but when faced with several days of walking at night over snowy mountain passes and hiding deep in the forest during the day, my grandparents turned back. Mum and Dad made it though, despite Mum’s growing belly. Mum says that the night they met their contact near the river bordering Nepal was both the highlight and the low point. They love their homeland, but fear for their own lives as well as hopes for the next generation propelled them on. After handing over a wad of money, they were each harnessed to a wire running across the river. It only took a few minutes to be pulled across the churning water below to freedom and exile both.

They made their way down to Kathmandu then on to North India where they registered at the centre for Tibetan refugees and waited … and waited … and waited. I was born a few months after they arrived, and my brother followed a couple of years later. As we grew older, we went to a school for refugee children where we learnt English. The day our parents heard that we would be given humanitarian visas by Australia they threw a party.

That’s how I come to live near this beach. My brother and I are sort of like Australian teens already, even though the Tibetan community here holds activities to help us remember what it means to be Tibetan. It’s hard for Mum and Dad. Even though they’re adults, they go to English classes every day. There are people who will help them find jobs when their English is good enough.

We’re safe and mostly happy here, but Mum still cries when people talk about our hero monk uncle. We don’t know what happened to him. We did hear that our grandparents made it back safely, but Mum and Dad don’t contact them because they are afraid it will only lead to trouble.

Thanks for listening to my story. I’m sure my parents won’t let me to go to youth group at your church, but it’s kind of you to ask. We’re Buddhist, of course, because we’re Tibetan. The lama says that it doesn’t matter what others believe though, so long as they are good people. Can we still be friends, even though I’m Buddhist and you’re Christian? That’d be awesome.

The author is a CultureConnect team member working with the Tibetan community in Australia.

* Drolma is a fictional character, but her story is based on those of many who have fled their homeland and been welcomed by Australia.

More information about Tibetans in Australia can be found at http://www.startts.org.au/media/Tibetan-Consultations-Report-2016-WEB-2.pdf (accessed 21 February 2017).

Bijoy Koshy visits Australia

The global missions paradigm is changing!

This was the message that Interserve’s new International Director, Dr Bijoy Koshy, shared during a whistle-stop tour of Australia in September. He visited our staff and spoke at Bible colleges, churches and special
events in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Bijoy shared his vision for strengthening Interserve’s international and
interdenominational heritage by improving our partnerships, sharing our resources and increasing our flexibility in response to the great opportunities that we have as a global community of ordinary Christians seeking to serve Christ. Interserve is increasing its partnerships with mission sending agencies and churches in the global South and has
also launched initiatives to grow our ministries amongst women and refugees. Bijoy’s passion is to see all God’s people work together as a
global community to serve Him.

Hope after border crossings

The world took notice of one lifeless child on the beach, and responded with tears. Yet thousands of refugees continue to make desperate border crossings in hope of something better. The UNHCR estimates 4.8 million Syrian refugees have flooded into neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. This region, known as West Asia, is buckling under one of the gravest humanitarian crises in modern memory.

The onward journey is complicated and slow at best. As time stretches on, poverty and ill health become problems, and despair sets in. Many have given up hope.

But there is hope. In West Asia, a small local church with a big heart is reaching out to refugees, with amazing impact. They began with blankets, mattresses, baby formula, and gas stoves. The refugees were astounded – no one else treated them like these ‘Bible people’ did. As numbers increased, a refugee centre was opened, and they now provide regular food relief and programs for over 5,500 refugee families.

The church knows they are in this for the long haul. They want refugees fleeing violence and strife to find love in Jesus' name and, by God's grace, faith in Him. Multicultural Interserve teams have been serving alongside this local church for over twenty years.

Two new Australian Interserve families are departing this year to join the refugee work of this church. These families bring skills in trauma recovery, special-needs education, IT and project management, and experience with asylum seekers in Australia. Experience tells us that as Interserve workers apply these skills, we will see innovative solutions developed. The smartphone-based system for managing food distribution at the refugee centre, for example, was created by an Interserve worker.

These two families are committed to long-term service –to making West Asia their home, and being attentive to what God is doing there. We believe that this kind of investment in long-term workers – who themselves are invested in a local body of believers – is the single most effective, sustainable and innovative contribution we can make.

This project has been submitted as part of the Mission Travel “Giving Back” campaign. If you are a Mission Travel client, you can help by voting for this project at missiontravel.com.au/givingback.

Brendan and Penny* have just departed for West Asia. Joel and Erin* are raising support. If you would like to be a part of their support team, you can give online using the supporter code 2059 or contact us for more information.

These families are not superheroes. They are ordinary Christians who are responding to the world’s need and God’s call to serve.

*Names have been changed.

Called to Connect

CultureConnect was established by Interserve Australia in 2007 to partner with local churches in mobilising Australian Christians to reach out with love and the good news of Jesus to their neighbours from Asia and the Arab world. No longer is cross-cultural mission exclusively the domain of theologically trained workers with overseas ministry aspirations. It is accessible to ordinary Christians doing everyday life with those around them. As we extend the hand of friendship to these neighbours, our prayer is that they will encounter the Lord Jesus and grow as His disciples.

So what does a CultureConnect team member look like?

Our paths are many and varied. I began this journey after years of working among migrants in factories in Sydney and seeing how open many of them were to discussing spiritual matters. I was born in Australia. I speak only English. I know nothing of lives endured in countries I’ve never even visited, and yet God opened my eyes to how he could use me to share Jesus with these people whom He loves. I joined CultureConnect in 2011 as a self-supported team member and began reaching out to migrants in south-west Sydney through church-based English as a Second Language (ESL) ministry.

Vivien* was born in South East Asia. She came to Australia for education and trained in health sciences. She first became involved with Interserve as an On Tracker and worked in Nepal for three months. In 2013 she joined CultureConnect and reached out to Hindus in Melbourne. As she still works full-time as physiotherapist, Vivien focuses her involvement on one Indian family that she regularly visits.

Evelyn* worked as a school teacher in NSW before first going to East Asia over 20 years ago. A long-term Interserve partner who is fluent in the local language, Evelyn moved back to Australia in 2015 and is studying Tibetan Buddhism. She is involved in training local Christians and making contacts in her home city’s Buddhist community.

All of us want to see the local church envisioned and equipped to reach out to our Asian and Arab neighbours. All of us want to see these neighbours’ lives transformed through an encounter with Jesus Christ. How might God use these people as their lives are forever changed by him?

My Nepali friends Larry and Simone* and their two children were baptised in Sydney in 2013; the baptismal service was skyped into villages of Nepal. The local church then decided to send a mission team to Nepal. They prayed. They raised money for smokeless stoves. And then they sent Larry and his family back to Nepal where he preached the gospel in his own language, in the villages he and his wife came from. People heard the good news of the Lord Jesus for the very first time, repented and believed.

This is global mission and, as followers of our Lord Jesus, this is what we are called to.

The life of faith is a life of living out our calling – the calling to follow Christ. How will I serve Christ? Who is he calling me to serve? These are questions for every believer.

“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” Ephesians 4:1

Lisa Bateup is the new CultureConnect Director

*Names have been changed.

So am I called or not

Serving cross-culturally often begins with a call from God into this ministry. Sounds straight-forward, right? Well, not really. As you can see from the stories in this edition of Go, people experience “call” in many different ways and some of our established ideas about “call” are often challenged during the journey.

Firstly, we often think that call needs to be something that is specific and direct. However, aspects of the call can be just as valid when they are general and indirect. Scripture is full of statements which call us all to sacrificially serve Christ throughout our world. This general call is so powerful that we could argue that no further specific calling is necessary, or that not to serve in this way demands a clear call.

Furthermore, our knowledge of the immense needs in a hurting world surely constitute such a compelling indirect call that a direct call from above should hardly be necessary. However, what emerges from these stories is that obedience to explore what the general call to be missional means for us personally often leads to specific and direct aspects of this call on our lives.

Secondly, how the call to cross-cultural service develops is often as much about common sense as about extraordinary events. We already have gifts and abilities that we believe God has called us to thus far. How can we use them in another culture? How can we develop and grow spiritually and professionally as we explore God’s purposes for us? But beyond our common sense we need to remember that God’s call is to be a particular kind of person over and above what job or location he calls us to. This is where we should start to look for His call; the practical will unfold as we remain faithful and obedient.

Thirdly, we need to be open to change during the journey. Sometimes, we get the message wrong and God needs to change us. As Bernie found (page ?), “It was a very fluid yet intentional process”. We may be clinging on to false dreams. We can also mistake circumstances or closed doors as direction from God when it may be a test of our resolve or an attack of the evil one. Discerning the differences is not always easy, but God remains faithful and will continue to patiently guide, shepherd and grow us.

Finally, our personal call is not just between us and God. We are part of the body of Christ – a community on which there is also a call. Our church, family, friends and, yes, even our mission agency are also collectively called to discern God’s will for the body of Christ in this world. This can be a challenge to Western individuality and independence, but this was firmly part of the early church’s missional strategy and is still a powerful aspect of faith in action among other cultures. Let the Christian community speak into your life. Be prepared to let go, remembering that God’s voice is often heard through His people.

We need to be sure of God’s leading as we seek to serve cross-culturally. It’s a big undertaking with a lot at stake. And it will be this call that sustains us when the going gets tough. However, if we are open, our call will keep developing as God continues His work in us, not just as His servants but as His children.

Peter Smith is the new Church and Community Engagement Director. He and his wife Prue recently returned from serving in the Middle East.

The unlikely missionary

For the longest time, I was pretty set on not being a missionary.

I knew the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19–20 – the deep call to go and make disciples everywhere, which is so basic to our faith. But it was the portability of that call which made me so uncomfortable. It drew a strange divide in my world between places we ‘are’ and places we could ‘go’ and invited me to cross between them in Jesus’ name. I largely knew those places through the television news, and it was not pretty: scud missiles in the Arab Gulf, thick concrete walls dividing Berlin, tanks rolling across Tiananmen Square, and planes crashing through American skyscrapers. These other places were not hospitable, so I resolved fairly early in life that I was going to stay put.

It was six months after my wedding that I ventured beyond my border to South Asia for a short-term exposure trip. That was when God did His work. The experience wasn’t always pleasant – beyond the usual linguistic and cultural confusions, we were battered daily by appalling human need. What was compelling, though, was God’s people. The local church, loving the same Jesus I did, saw those human needs and met them as best they could, in the face of very real dangers, in the name of Jesus. I returned to Australia battered by a sense that my life is genuinely owned by Another, and I should be available to Him without condition.

We had no voice-from-the-sky moment about what cross-cultural work would look like for us, but we knew we wanted to do it. Our imaginations were captured by the idea of working alongside local believers, doing whole-of-life discipleship with them in a hard place. We prayed and planned and studied and talked, trying to work out how our personalities and skills could intersect with a church and a city somewhere out there. Things narrowed. A placement in the Middle East began to emerge. So when God put the brakes on and caused us to wait, to say we were frustrated would be an understatement. Months and years had gone into our preparations, only to now drift in the doldrums and wonder why the Sender Himself would blindside us like this.

It was a hard lesson in our Father’s logistics. Disappointment and confusion – yes, and anger – are natural reactions when we lose a sense of where God is taking us. Those feelings, however, should never blind us to possibilities He is opening up elsewhere. We changed plans for a time and joined an Interserve CultureConnect team serving ethnic minorities in Australia. We started working among people seeking asylum in Sydney’s northwest – people who live daily with a deeper uncertainty than we may ever know. Drinking tea, celebrating birthdays, laughing and crying and praying with them, we pondered the courageous faith Jesus commends in the face of anxiety (Matthew 6:25–34). We don’t always know the way, but our Father does, and He is never less powerful or less worthy of our trust because of it.

The delay turned out to be temporary. These days, our family is preparing to join the refugee-welcoming church in West Asia. I still glimpse the place we will go to in television-news images – bomb blasts, leaky boats and, above all, masses of people crossing borders, a river which stretches to the horizons of belief. Those pictures are still bewildering to me. They no longer frighten me, though, because they’re part of the same basic script our Father has always given to us: those old imperatives to go and to make disciples, to bind up broken hearts, and to set captives free.

Joel* (a social worker) is preparing to serve in West Asia alongside people seeking asylum.

*Names have been changed.

Remembering John Reid

Bishop John Reid passed away on 2 January after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. His legacy of leadership within Bible and Medical Missionary Fellowship (BMMF)/Interserve is not widely known but is very significant. John became the International Chairman of BMMF International in 1986 and continued in that role until 1998, when Rose Dowsett succeeded him. In his first two years as Chairman John helped to steer the Fellowship through the difficult transitions from BMMF to Interserve and from its base in India to Cyprus.

John’s interest in cross-cultural mission began in his days in the Melbourne University Christian Union and through his close friendship with Howard Barclay, who left for missionary service in India in 1952. John’s first of several visits to the Barclays was in 1966 when they lived in Amppipal in the remote hills of Nepal. The other strong influence on John was his senior colleague Bishop A Jack Dain who was Executive Chairman of the Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization (LCWE) in the 1970s and concurrently Chairman of BMMF. It was this connection that led to John’s significant roles in the LCWE: from 1981 he took over from John Stott as Chairman of the Theology Working Group and was LCWE Vice-Chairman at the time of the Lausanne II Congress in Manila.

Despite John’s heavy responsibilities as Bishop and Chairman of both LCWE and Interserve, his leadership was characterised by calm, astute wisdom and insight, and a remarkable attention to individuals, which flowed from his love for people. This was manifested in two ways: firstly, in prayer – John and Alison used the Interserve Prayer Diary daily – and, secondly, in correspondence – in his first year as Chairman of Interserve John tried to write personally (pre-emails!) to all Partners. His letters were brief and to the point – insightful, challenging and encouraging. John was a mentor to many a “Timothy” in the fellowship.

John had many leadership qualities. He had a tinder-dry wit and could tell the funniest stories with an impassive face; his levity often diffused tense discussions in meetings. He was deeply thoughtful, wise and humble and he had the ‘personal touch’, a quality that is often lacking in more charismatic leaders. John loved the people he led – not in a superficial way, but with genuine interest and prayerful concern.

I experienced this myself on several occasions. I will never forget the way John led the concluding communion service at the Interserve Quadrennial Conference in Kathmandu in 1994. He commented on what a remarkably gifted and competent group of people was present representing the wider Interserve fellowship, but then continued on to make the point that we were flawed and frail and in need of God’s grace and sanctification (how true that was).

After John retired, he and his wife Alison joined United Mission to Nepal as personnel counselors and they were both instrumental in helping me professionally (Alison) and pastorally (John) to survive two very difficult and challenging years (1994–95) at Gandaki Boarding School. One of John’s letters to me during that time referred to the “tottering fence” imagery in Psalm 62; it has been a consistent source of encouragement over the years when times are tough.

John wrote recently to Dr Saphir Atyal, “I often reassure myself when the going gets tough that I do not have anything that a good resurrection will not fix”.

John Barclay (returned Interserve Partner)

By grace alone

By Grace Alone

Some mornings I don’t want to get up. I just want to put my head under the covers and pretend I don’t exist. The morning in this story was one of those. I could see a long tedious day stretching ahead of me, full of things I didn’t want to do starting with the dreaded school lunches and finishing with a mountain range of washing to fold. What’s more, this morning had a dental appointment tucked in between school lunches and learn to swim classes. So it was that, not so promptly, at 8.15 I raced down the stairs and jumped into Suzy.

Suzy is a 32-year-old yellow Suzuki Swift who was loaned to us by friends when they realised we needed a temporary second car. She can be reluctant to start some mornings and she is not as beautiful as she once was as her flooring was ripped out because she leaks and then fills up with water. This particular morning was my first opportunity to drive Suzy and I leapt in with some trepidation. Being unable to adjust the seat forward, I drove off sitting upright like a heroine in a Jane Austen movie dropping the clutch and stalling her every few seconds.

By the time I reached the first traffic light I was killing myself with laughter. But I had managed to move the seat forward and we were off. See Suzy, in spite of her age, drives like a race car. She is incredibly stable when you turn corners and, because she has no floor, you can feel the road beneath you. Driving Suzy just makes me feel real and I can’t help loving her. On this morning, however, Suzy was more than my personal dilapidated race car, she was God’s grace to me, reminding me of the joy in the every day.

It is easy to see life as mundane and to forget that God’s grace is all around us. It’s there in the dreaded school lunches made from grain that grew at the grace of God, in the breeze and the sun that brush my shoulders as I hang out my washing, in the gift of my husband and three beautiful boys. All of these things are precious gifts that I have not earned, that simply come to me from the hands of a Father who loves me. Suzy reminds me that life is good even when I’m driving to the dentist.

But Suzy also reminds me of the way that God’s grace is given to us through the hands of those around us, sometimes those who care for us, sometimes complete strangers. One of the strange, spiky gifts that living on support has given me is an awareness that everything I own, the food I eat, the education for my children, my healthcare is reliant on God’s grace through the kindness of others. But it is not always easy to see this support as God’s grace. More often than not I am tempted to worry. Do I deserve it? Am I working hard enough? What outcomes have I achieved? Sometimes I wish for a simple job where I am paid for what I do, where my finances are in my control.

And yet what a gift it is to remember that we have not earned any of these things. They are gifts that come from the hand of the Father, most often administered through the loving hands of others. Gifts we should use in his service, yes! But gifts none the less. All of us, no matter what we do, exist only by God’s grace. Suzy was a gift of love to us when we needed her and the grace in her brings us joy.

Jesus said, “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” Luke 12: 22–24

The author is an Interserve Partner currently on Home Assignment.

Jonahs Tree

Jonah’s tree

I never thought I had much in common with Jonah. The whole running in the wrong direction thing, thrown out of a boat, being vomited up by a big fish. I’m definitely not like Jonah. Anyway, when God called, I went. Right?

Yep. I’m here. Living in an overcrowded grey metropolis, my apartment indistinguishable from the thousands of others that overlook me when I stand on my balcony.

This balcony has always been a favourite place of mine. Though it is just large enough for a single chair, I can get outside, look at the trees, listen to the birds, and enjoy quiet time in the morning shade. There have been two flame trees below the balcony which flash into bloom every year in summer. I look forward to it because it is the prettiest time of year in this beauty-starved concrete city.

Here is a noisy place. Kids, cars, donkeys, horns, calls to prayer. We get used to them all. But I arrived home to an unfamiliar noise last month and went to investigate. I followed it all the way to my balcony, and discovered that I was hearing the noise of a chainsaw doing its work on ‘my’ flame trees. And they were due to bloom in two weeks…

I watched from above with barely controlled dismay as three men chopped down my beautiful trees. Within the hour, the birds were gone, the stump removed and all I could see was a concrete, rubbish-strewn courtyard. The single bit of beauty and colour I could see from my flat – gone in an hour.

I was angry about my tree being chopped down. Every time I looked down at the ugly ground past my washing line, my anger was refuelled. What is wrong with this culture that they would chop down such a beautiful tree when every bit of green should be so precious in this city? I was still moping the next morning when I sat down on the balcony for a quiet time.

But my conscience had started to hum and, like a mobile phone on vibrate, I felt urged to look at Jonah. Fast forward past the big fish and Jonah’s sitting on his hill in the sun (Jonah 4:9–11). God’s grace is about to fall upon the entire city of Nineveh, but Jonah is preoccupied with the loss of his shady vine. So God says:

”Do you have good reason to be angry about the tree? You are concerned about the tree for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow. I am concerned about the millions of people in this great city.” (my paraphrasing).

Now I know God cares about the environment. But so much more than that, God longs to pour out his grace upon this city.

And my part in it? Ouch. What a humbling reprimand. Maybe I’m not so different to grumpy old Jonah after all – no big fish required. Am I more concerned about my tree than those who cut it down? In my pride for ‘being here’, have I got this so wrong?

God is definitely reminding me to get back to his priorities. This is something I’ve asked before but I so quickly get distracted. And not just by trees.

Forgive me Lord. Thanks that your grace extends to me and my failures too. Break my heart with what breaks yours, Lord. And help me truly live a life worthy of the calling I’ve received. Amen.

The author is a Partner in the Arab world