Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Somebody fed me on our Mission Trip--How Cool! Wesley Foundation E-letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Hellooooooo!  I hope each of you had an amazing spring break!  It is good to be back in town.  I can’t wait to swap stories of our crazy adventures!  Can anyone say Chevy Chase and National Lampoon’s Vacation?


Anyway, this week we are back to our regular schedule.  Worship tonight at 6:30pm.  And Thursday we will have a free meal and program.  Justine Pile will also be there to discuss specifics of Relay for Life.  There is much to do as we prepare!  Also, we are participating in a campus wide food drive.  Our brothers and sisters from CSF are implementing it as a way to rebuild food pantries after the terrible ice storms this winter.  So bring non-perishable items to worship or free meal night.  We will do this each week until the end of the semester.  This is an easy way to share God’s love with someone else!


Also we will have small groups this week too!


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


It is good to be back home in Bowling Green.  Like many others I spent Spring Break on the road. And traveling can be such a weary business.  However, one of the truths that became evident while we were away was that being on a journey is as exhilarating as it is exhausting.  All of us who were on our Spring Break mission trip could testify that we were blessed in the going.  How thankful I am for the experience. 


This morning in my quiet time I discovered the following quote from a journal article: 


Perhaps Jesus’ knowledge of road lessons compelled him to send the twelve disciples on a journey through villages (Luke 9:1-6, NRSV).  He “gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.”  Although given “power and authority,” they needed something more; the needed to rely upon hospitality and its possibilities. . . .  Being dependent and vulnerable is how disciples come to experience God’s sustenance through community. . . .  He insisted that they rely upon the communities that awaited them.  They needed to give hospitality a chance to flourish (Weavings:  The Road.  “At Home on the Road,” by Luther E. Smith, Jr.  p.10).


Luther Smith must really dig mission trips with college students!  Or else he has an insight into the nature to stepping out in faith to serve God in places far removed from “home.”  What he describes is just what we experienced.  The whole way we found ourselves drifting between two extremes of a paradox.  On the one had we had left the comfort of home to serve, to share Jesus with those whose paths we intersected.  On the other hand we were served by the hands and feet of Christ who provided the comforts of home in order to enable our service for Him.  As much as we were a face of compassion for others as we went out, each day we were bathed in the compassion of hospitality that attended generously to our needs.


We never know which we will be called upon to give, yet both kinds of service are interwoven into the fabric of the Kingdom of Heaven.  At each church we stayed at we were received with joy.  We received home cooked breakfasts, lunches to sustain us on the road, and company eager to hear the stories of our adventures when we returned.  Each day we ventured out to share the love of Jesus with people we didn’t know, in all kinds of ways.  Sometimes it meant knocking on doors and offering prayer to strangers; sometimes it meant holding a baby or playing with a special needs toddler; sometimes it meant hanging dry wall and offering prayers of encouragement for a family we will never meet, and sometimes it meant giving food to a homeless person and seeing them as a child of God instead of a stranger to be avoided.  Each day God offered us an opportunity to experience giving away His love in a new way.  And each night God surrounded us with the body of Christ, ministering to our weary bodies so that the next day we would be refreshed and able to serve again.


When I hear Jesus say in the gospels, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is at hand,” I believe this is what He was talking about.  Every moment is a chance to leave the ordinary self-seclusion of safety and step into the adventure of love that is ready to participate in God redeeming the whole world.  And every moment God invites us to participate in redeeming our corner of it.  Extraordinary love looks quite ordinary.  In fact, making beds, serving lunches, offering smiles and encouragements are things we do everyday.  It’s just that we do these things for ourselves and those we are comfortable with.  What makes love extraordinary is when we offer it to folks we don’t normally do such things for, even those we see everyday and we’d rather not do them for.  I believe the miracle of transforming the world is not that amazing things happen as much as God enables amazing generosity in us human beings who are so conditioned to just take care of our own.


Driving to work this morning I saw the following bumper sticker:  “Welcome to America.  Now speak English or leave.”  Something in my heart broke when I read that.  I could never imagine Jesus saying that to one of His children that He painstakingly knit together in its mother’s womb.  I am so thankful that our hosts last week did not say things like that to me.  So often we will encounter people who don’t have what it takes to live up to someone else’s expectations.  And we are faced with a choice:  will we love and enter into a redeeming relationship with them through the power of God’s love, or will we demand they be like us and throw them away when they aren’t?  Will we have the courage to allow Jesus to shape our response?  Will we become a community where hospitality has a chance to flourish?


This is me trusting,




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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry




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