A number of things were discussed, mostly centered around 3 ideas:
1. The status of our current applications with different agencies we are exploring that would send us to Africa.
2. The relative pros and cons of the two main options: namely, going to train for 2 years in Africa, then finding a long-term agency and location vs. attempting to find a longterm agency on the front end and having the training abbreviated to some degree. This will be discussed more in depth when the Cropseys spend a week in Michigan in early June.
3. The agenda for the said visit from the Cropseys, in which we will gather to meet with a couple different organizations.
This was all done in the subtext of friendship and banter that gives our lives its true color. Thus the following 3 things were also discussed:
1. McCropders Summit 2008 in a farm house in Kentucky, at the Global Health Missions Conference. Man, we're psyched.
2. Heather and Eric strangely have the exact same birthday in early June whilst the Cropseys sojourn with us, and thus there will be celebration, food, and Catan to commemorate what will likely be the first of decades of joint Heather/Eric birthday celebrations.
3. John Cropsey inner desires: "I've always dreamed of becoming a jungle bunny." That's right, friends: Jungle. Bunny.
There were a lot of great points that he made, but I'll focus on one. There's an old testament story (2 Sam 12) that I've heard for many years. King David, after committing adultery with the wife of one of his soldiers and getting her pregnant, he indirectly murders the husband and marries the woman himself. Through the prophet Nathan, David learns that God is going to punish his actions by the baby dying. That such a renowned hero of the Bible as David was guilty of such heinous actions, and that God took the life of the innocent, are both parts of the story that deserve long conversations not to be found here.
Here's the focal point: David hears this, and fasts and prays and lays prostrate on the ground for days and days, imploring God to change his mind. He was so desparate that, when the infant did die, his men were afraid to tell him this news, not knowing what he might do. But he senses their hesitation, and they tell him the truth. He gets up, bathes, changes clothes, goes and worships in the temple, and then eats. They ask him how he could act like this. He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."
Here is a solemn model for the physician. Ardent striving to save, ardent sacrifice on behalf of the sick and dying that we love. And then, peaceful recognition of the limits of our efforts. Acceptance, and the ability to move on and continue to live as God desires. We sense this tension in which we live. Robert, thanks for using this illustration to acknowledge the tension and instruct in the midst of it.
- Passion for God and His glory is the fuel for missions, and worship is the goal of missions. “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is….When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.”
- The Westminster Confession states that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Piper agrees, but also contends that the chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy Himself forever. He writes, “The most passionate heart for the glorification of God is God’s heart. God’s ultimate goal is to uphold and display the glory of his name.”
- Piper states that “…compassion for people must not be detached from passion for the glory of God.” To support this point he quotes from John Dawson’s book Taking Our Cities for God:
“We should never be Christian humanists, taking Jesus to poor sinful people, reducing Jesus to some kind of product that will better their lot. People deserve to be damned, but Jesus, the suffering Lamb of God, deserves the reward of His suffering.”
- Summary: “No one will be able to rise to the magnificence of the missionary cause who does not feel the magnificence of Christ. There will be no big world vision without a big God. There will be no passion to draw others into our worship where there is no passion for worship.”
Revelations 15:3-4 "Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."
I would really recommend this book. I’ve only read the first chapter so far, but it’s already given me a lot to chew on!
To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Last Sunday the McLaughlins and the Faders made their church speaking debut. We were grateful for the opportunity to speak in Sunday school at our church about medical missions. We seized the opportunity to answer some of the common questions and concerns surrounding medical mission work in