Mission of Being
- Isabella F
In thinking about going on a mission trip or outreach, the image that comes to mind is a plan to serve and a plan to do. To make the most of the time spent in another country and to help with as much as possible. Isn't that what we short-term missionaries aim for? Well, I am learning a new kind of mission here in Nepal. It is the mission of ‘being.’
I am learning that mission work doesn't always look the same, especially in going to a very relational country for my DTS Outreach. I’m learning that it is not always about what I'm doing for the people or with the people. It's how I interact with the people and their culture. Sometimes what people really need has more to do with being with them than the actual things we do for them.
Changing my mindset from doing to being was really challenging for me at the beginning of outreach. I felt as if I was doing nothing useful and feeling that time was being wasted because we hadn't done anything ‘for’ anyone. Instead, we just learned. Learned about the culture, the people, injustices, and ethical businesses aiming to make a difference. I see now that getting to know the culture, the issues, and what people are already doing now to help is so beneficial and that time of learning helped me and my team to know Nepal better. I just didn't see it before since my mind was always set on ‘what I'm I going to do?’
In Nepal, I am learning to be more relational, present, open in conversations, flexible and generous with time. God has been showing me that community is so important here and also in life around the world (even if people don’t always recognize they need it). In fact, it can be where the most in-depth growth happens and when you can see God working in the smallest of things.
Being in Nepal is amazing and it's incredible to see the many things God is teaching me even though I can’t say I've done much. Being able to also learn from the Nepali people has been so valuable. They know how to ‘be’ and they know community.
Learning that it is important to have a 'being mindset' mixed with a 'doing' one has broadened the way I see God. I'm learning to see the way God wants to be with us and us with Him!