This will be our last day up North with our final stop in Ipoh. When we were driving down from Cameron Highlands to Ipoh, we talked about the difference between traditional Mission Trips and what Claudio Oliver talks about in the video below “Friendship Trips”. I feel strongly that we need some in depth rethinking and reordering in the way we see overseas trips to fellow Christians.
This doesn’t mean we do nothing and it’s a “sanctified” holiday. On the contrary, as we serve and share with those whom are hosting us, we are also open to receive. And thus, both of us both guests and hosts are open to what God is doing overall and inside us.
We had a a wonderful finale “revival” meeting at New Life Lutheran Church, Ipoh, last night. Other Lutheran church members around Ipoh came to join us as well. I believe the message theme “God has not abandoned us” spoke deeply to many who were there.
Friendship Trips is serving wholeheartedly and the giving of ourselves by listening attentively too. In fact, I noticed how important that was especially in the before and after the meeting moments we had with various people.
As the driver for the Lauf Team led by Pastor Thomas Hofmann and also ELCA pastoral intern Peter Harrits, it’s interesting for me to observe and learn from their interaction with the members of the Lutheran Church in Malaysia & Singapore (LCMS) in Ipoh. I could sense a great openness, hunger and desire for change, growth and maturity in faith and ministry.
We joked a lot about food during these trips at different locations. And yet, seriously so much of friendship develops around a meal. I recall Jesus doing the same thing.
We’re heading for breakfast later, and then after a short tour around Ipoh, we’ll be heading home to KL. For my German friends tomorrow they will be bringing home so many memories and lessons from Malaysia back to their congregation. All the seeds that were sown in various locations, and for me in the location of our hearts, will grow even more fruitfully in due time.
So far so good . the Good Lord not only has not abandoned us, He’s guiding us forward firmly and gently (with great meals along the journey!).