Thursday, July 1, 2010
Thailand and the Trickle Down Effect
One thing I love about the whole concept of Come before Winter is that it acknowledges, no, it relies on, the Trickle Down Effect. The leadership and the board of directors know that when women reconnect with God's call for their lives and are renewed in their passion to pursue it, there is an effect on those around them. When people who are disconnected from their value in ministry find their identity, their entire sphere of influence is altered.
So, before we left for Thailand, my prayer was that future generations of Christians in SE Asia and beyond would look back on their family tree (of faith) and there would be a direct link back to this renewal. People could ask their grandparents in 50 years, "How did you become a believer?" or "How did our family become believers?" and somewhere in their heritage of faith, there would be a person who attended this renewal. And if not for this renewal, their story would be different. That was my prayer.
Now, after spending the week with the team and 36 amazing women who serve in the Philippines, the United States, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil, Cambodia, and China, my thoughts and prayers about the trickle down effect get a little more specific. The thoughts often drift back to "What if this person fully embraced the transformation they experienced at the renewal? Could God do this mighty work he's been saving for them?" Now, theologically, I know and believe that God can do a mighty work without this person's help (if he so desires), and yet I know they each have gifts that would make it a mighty work with a cherry on top. :)
So, I pray for the Trickle Down...
What if a harried school principal fully embraced God's provision for her and her academy? Could hundreds of school children know what security is through observing their headmaster?
What if a woman full of resentment towards her man came home as a woman full of grace? Could the children she's only yet prayed for be born into a heritage of compassion?
What if the women on a team of missionaries returned to their teammates united as one? Could an entire town bear witness to what reconciliation truly is?
What if a tired family that trains social workers bounced into their next workshop? Could the bondage of abuse that spans generations be broken through the fresh anointing these trainers receive?
What if the frustrated mom met her children at the airport with a new appreciation for her family? Could her tender strength sustain her sons and daughters through future struggles in their faith?
What if the isolated single working in a country where proselytizing is illegal found herself whole again through reunion with friends and sisters in Christ? Could just her smile at work spark a co-worker's search for meaning and lead to the revival of a nation?
Just one woman's transformation could alter the course of an entire people. A heritage of faith is my prayer.
But what if none of it trickles down? But what if it only sticks with one? Would Come before Winter be worth it if it only revived one? Would the hours of preparation and execution, the tens of thousands of dollars sacrificed, or the knees aching from being bent in prayer be worth it for just one spirit to be renewed?
The joy in seeing a woman being able to reenter into the presence of God, freely and without condemnation, was my biggest takeaway from this time in Thailand. If even for one, it would be worth it.
It was so worth it!