At the end of a long day, with my face covered in shaving cream, I turn on the tap - and there’s not a drop of water!
Now I suppose you’re a lot more organized than me, and have never had an experience like this. But if you’re juggling quite a few things in life these days, perhaps you can relate? Sometimes getting everything organized - pulling all the pieces together – can be a little messy. You know you’ll get there in the end, but it’s a bit of a crazy process.
Lately, amidst the mayhem in pulling it all off - the dash to the bus stop; the credit card not working; the sudden headache that puts me in bed – there have emerged some genuine surprises. For me, it’s usually a significant conversation - signs that something important is happening in someone’s heart (or my own) – and reminders that someone better and more organized than myself is cultivating good things behind the scenes.
Recently I had the chance to travel to my local friend’s hometown. I was the first foreigner that had been to their remote village, and they gave me a warm reception, treating me to the local wheat, garlic, and wildlife - the latter being large, juicy bugs (which were also quite chewy).
One day my friend walked with me through the village, the place where he had grown up. He pointed out an amazing old empty building; “that was my grandma’s house,” he said. Further along the road, another old place came into view. “That was my grandfather’s father’s house,” he added. What a remarkable sight, to see several generations of family history alongside a single road. What happened next was very surprising.
As we approached the house I noticed it was covered with the customary decorations – inside and out – but with a unique twist – a special symbol, which you and I know well, and messages about The Carpenter. It appears that someone in his extended family is part of a much bigger family – something that my friend had not known until that day.
Another significant moment came during an outing to a nearby city, when I was chatting to my friend’s cousin in a hotel room. He pulled up his phone to show me an English song that he had been listening to, explaining that there was something powerful about it. I was surprised to see that it was a song I recognized well - one we might sing on the weekend. Something about it had grabbed him, even though he didn’t know what it was about. We had a good chat about what the song meant.
Back in the big city, when a group from our club went to watch a movie recently, my friend came along. Someone unwittingly invited him along to our weekend thing when they asked if he usually came. He replied “no, but I’d quite like to!” and for the past couple of months he’s done just that – coming along every time. He got himself a copy of the book, and started going to a session to go more in-depth. Please remember my friend with me – that he will continue to be warmly welcomed, and make new connections as he learns.
In a service recently we were singing the old Indian hymn ‘I Have Decided to Follow Jesus’. However, somehow the person who prepared the PowerPoint got the lyrics mixed up. Instead of singing:
“The world behind me, the cross before me;”
We were actually singing:
“The world before me, the cross behind me;”
Realising the mistake, the song leader led us into singing the right lyric. We all laughed about it and the service moved on. But as I reflected, I saw a significant truth to the ‘wrong’ lyric.
The cross is indeed behind us. However, it’s not far behind us or a fond memory from the past. It is in fact, quite close, a daily reality. Why? Because the cross is on our shoulders – after all, didn’t Christ say we were to take up our cross and follow him?
And carrying that cross, we walk into the world before us. Not of the world, but definitely in it. With the weight of the cross ever-present, we see the world through new eyes. Its brokenness, depravity and need no longer hidden from us. And there, on our back, we carry hope for new life.
Over the last couple of months, I have reflected on Jesus’ parable of the Hidden Treasure. Last month, I talked about how all too often we bury the treasure of the Kingdom, hiding it from those around us. Today it is time to reflect on how we can dig up the treasure of the Kingdom, sharing it with all.
Our team overseas reveals the treasure of the Kingdom in various ways. Freedom from slavery through business. Transforming minds through education. Partnering with local believers to bring economic development in impoverished areas. Seeking transformation as we pray into dark places. And, in all of our fields, we witness to Christ, retelling His Good News and calling people to follow Him.
How are you uncovering the treasure of the Kingdom, in both word and deed, in the fields you are working in? I would love to hear your stories too!
- Andrew Page (Tranzsend Team Leader)
Eleven years ago, Peter and Lynley packed their bags and headed to ‘the land of smiles’; a land they had never been to before. Now the time has come for Peter and Lynley to once again pack their bags and leave their beloved home in South East Asia, this time bound for ‘the land of the long white cloud’.
Having built many long lasting relationships during their time overseas, Peter and Lynley will be greatly missed by both the locals they have been serving, and the Tranzsend team who will continue on with the work Peter and Lynley have been so greatly involved in.
Preaching, teaching and small business enterprise are only a few of the activities that Peter and Lynley have dabbled in during their time overseas; all with the purpose of bringing glory and honour to the One they obediently serve.
Peter and Lynley are quite adamant that this is not the end of their ‘time on the field’. Though their location may be changing, Peter and Lynley are committed to their cause, and are unwavering in their belief that their mission remains the same- to share the Good News of Christ to all those who are willing to listen.
We look forward to seeing all that God has in store for Peter and Lynley when they return to New Zealand this month. Peter and Lynley will spend time travelling the country and meeting with groups and churches for a few months after they return. If you are interested in having Peter and Lynley speak to your group or church, please contact Andrew on (09) 526 8442 or email: