Swimming in Cappuccino
By: Paul Richardson
Want a swimming pool? Just dig a big hole in the mud and then let it fill up with rain water. That’s what the students in one of the Mustard Seed schools did.
Last week, I took four Mustard Seed teachers-in-training to lead a full day of activities and creative lessons in a village junior high. What an incredible day! Our future teachers are building some incredible skills.
Their final activity was a competition held outside, and it resulted in dozens of teenagers getting hot, dirty and sweaty under the blistering sunshine. The activity ended, and I figured the fun was over. Then suddenly a swarm of kids sprinted across the grass. Squealing with delight as they leapt into a muddy ditch! More and more kids saw the fun and ran to join in. I marveled as they splashed and did back flips into water that was the color of coffee. For a brief nanosecond I thought about joining them, then came to my senses. There might be a snake. Or leeches? An opportunity that would make my stomach turn, for them was simply the enjoyment and adventure in their own homemade swimming pool. There was no hesitation, fear or regret.
This remarkable act of running and jumping in the muddy water, for me, is a symbol of how life is meant to be lived. And it’s an expression of faith. If you are anything like me, you tend to live a clean and tidy life, where everything is ordered and predictable. But God calls us to dare to abandon our comfortable routines, run across the grass and leap into the mud. His voice beckons us to messy, dangerous and risky places.
Changing the world is impossible without getting dirty. Why? Because the world out there is messy and complicated. Most of us live with some level of brokenness, painful memories, dysfunction and complexity.
The children in Indonesian villages are no different. If we in Mustard Seed want to reach them, disciple them and prepare them for an incredible future, we have to be willing to get our hands dirty. Ministry is hard because it requires going into new and mysterious places. It requires learning new languages and learning the mindset of a different culture.
And this is why I love Mustard Seed. We are not afraid to go to the hardest places, where there is no electricity, cell phone coverage or clean water. This is what God has called us to do, and like the teenagers I saw leaping into a ditch, WE LOVE IT!
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