Monday, January 30, 2012

Our Model of Missions: PART 1

      We are currently in Elgin, Illinois doing training with International Teams (IT), the organization that is sending us to Ecuador. There are 4 modules that comprise our training: Orientation, A2, A3, and A4: language acquisition. We have finished Orientation and A2-- today was our first day of A3. So technically, we're half-way done!

As pictured above, we have had the opportunity to lead worship a few times during training!

      I have enjoyed training immensely. Scott Olson, the President of IT led a few of the sessions and he shared the overall vision, mission, and values of International Teams, and I have to say that I was moved and inspired. He shared a couple of the concepts visually, so I decided to re-draw a couple with hopes that you can catch an idea of what he spoke about.

      In missions, there are generally 2 extremes. One extreme focuses primarily on bringing the Gospel to the world. They focus on the spiritual needs and want to 'save' people. This is the blue guy on the left.

Then there's the other extreme, which focuses on meeting the physical needs of individuals-- giving water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, clothes to the poor. The orange person on the right represents those folks.

Now don't get me wrong-- both of these are necessary, good things! The problem is when the blue guy looks at the orange guy and says, "You focus too much on physical needs! We need to focus on the heart and on saving souls!"

And then there's the problem of the orange guy returning that same sentiment and saying, "You're too focused on what's inside-- we need to meet their physical needs before even thinking about addressing their spiritual needs!"

  You see, both focuses are good, but in most cases the extremes result quickly and frequently-- and they hold their opinion as better than the other. Most organizations out there have a much stronger focus on one over the other.

     What's pretty awesome and unique about International Teams is that our model looks like this:

     We genuinely embrace both. The ministries that IT has all over the world address both physical and spiritual needs. We fully integrate both of these views and are intentionally bringing people together with both views to help the oppressed: physically and spiritually.

     That is Part 1! I realize this is a little long... so, I'm gonna leave you biting your nails tonight  and will post Part 2 tomorrow!

 Blessing to you, friends,


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