by Jill Lienemann, Kesher International Missions | ©2010
“And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manager.” Luke 2:16 NKJV
I would have no reservations in believing the Shepherd’s haste was driven by adrenaline from the previous hours of excitement. But perhaps the underlining sense of urgency came from a much deeper and divine source. “Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 NKJV
Stepping onto the plane, bus, or car headed towards your mission destination, your own heart may flutter with anticipation of what you will find intertwined with the many days, weeks or months of preparation for this moment. “You have a saying, ‘Four more months till harvest.’ But I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields ready for harvest NOW.” John 4:35 NCV
When they arrived at their destination, the Shepherds found the city bursting with people due to the required census. The streets were crowded and noisy. Some of the faces and languages spoken around them were foreign. The location where the family was staying was in less than ideal conditions. The Babe was sleeping in a manager most likely carved out of stone while Mary and Joseph were bedding down on the floor. Though the Shepherds were accustomed to sheep odor, in this small area there was a concentrated stench of fodder, sweat and excrement from a variety of animals that roamed around freely.
What will you find when you arrive at your mission destination? Be prepared that your personal space will be invaded depending on whichever part of the world you find yourself. You may be hypersensitive to the different noises and sights to which you are exposed. Frustration may occur from being the only one in a sea of people who speaks your language. The smells you encounter could be overwhelming, areas you visit less than sanitary, and tonight’s meal may greet you at the living room door. Allow God to use your spiritual foundation and natural excitement to supersede the physical circumstances you are placed in so that you may be an example of Christ to those who have never seen Him.
KESHER TIP: Plan ahead for baggage embargoes. Check with your airline or travel agent about seasonal embargoes on boxes as check-in luggage. Plastic trunks bound with straps (leave off the locks) are a great option in this case. At the airport terminal, I witnessed a group bringing in carts of boxes filled with supplies for their mission trip only to find out they could not be checked-in due to the implemented box embargo. My heart went out to the mission team leader as he/she would have to make some tough decisions and still make their plane departure.
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