When I was 25 years old, and was considering the possibility of returning to school to go to medical school, one of my dearest mentors told me, "If you weren't going to be a doctor, I think you'd either be a firefighter or a missionary." I told him in no uncertain terms just how full of baloney he was about that "missionary" thing. I had pushed religion to the periphery of my world. I had walked out the door of the institutional church and had no intention of ever returning. I thought his statement was absolutely crazy.
Well, it's official. I am hereby officially eating those words I told my mentor over 25 years ago. In fact, he's 81 years old and I told him, "Well, I was wrong and you were right." I think he was glad to have lived long enough to get an apology from me on that one!
You see, I am on the team of missioners traveling to Lui in the Republic of South Sudan from November 25-December 12. Believe me, it's exciting. I hope I can bring something of myself to these people that they need to prosper in God's service. I am sure this trip will change me, but am not speculating on the "how" of that--I think I'll leave that one open to the Holy Spirit.
If you would like to read more about my diocese's relationship with Lui, my blogging pal Lisa Fox has written about it many times on her blog. Two of my favorite posts she's written on Lui are here and here. If I were to pick the person who could match my own excitement about this trip, it would be Lisa.
I invite you to be a ministry of presence for our team. There are many ways to participate in this ministry:
1. Follow the action in the next few weeks on the Lui Partners Network.
2. Hold our team in prayer at this time. (I suspect I will be thinking, "Toto, we are definitely not in Kirksville," a lot on this mission.)
3. Offer a donation to the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri here. Please select the "Diocese of Lui" button. Also, at the bottom of this page is a box where you can earmark your donation; if you would earmark it in support of missioner Maria Evans, I'd be very grateful.
4. Publicize this mission on your blog or Facebook page, or via Twitter.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and support. I hope to be able to blog "boots on the ground" some, as well as upon my return!