Two weeks, 15 day ,360 hours, 5 countries later, we have formed a family. A family who has supported each other during times when no one knew the plan as well as times of celebration with one another. This family took time to form. We all were able to come together and explore the creation God has provided.
When looking at just a section of the lectionary text
Romans 8, verse 1-20, I believe it is fair to say that each person might have had a day of suffering. It could have been caused by the anxiety of not knowing what to expect before takeoff off, walking 5+ miles a day, spending a weekend with a host family, crossing of borders, not getting enough sleep or receiving heart breaking news from home…
During those moments we can find ourselves sitting in a place of anticipation. How do I stay present in the moment of being in Central Europe and also respect the emotions within? This anticipation we never had to face alone; we were always greeted with a friendly face and reminders that we are able to be a part of God’s creation within Central Europe. These moments of suffering will not be limited to just our time in Central Europe. In years to come, we might be faced with something that brings back an emotion we experienced here, yet we know that we will have a group to turn to. We were not created to suffer alone.
We all chose to come to Central Europe. We all chose to take an active role and to be present within the group. We all chose to be there for one another. We chose to learned what Church looks like around this world and bring back what we have learned to be able allow the glory of God to be set free and shared with everyone. We did not choose the moments of frustration – that is just a part of traveling. However, we did get to choose how we responded to those moments.
Our eyes have been opened to see how we have been able to make those choices. Yet in Europe, many people did not get to make the choice to have borders changed. We spent the afternoon Slovakia hearing from the Dean of a Hungarian seminary and a pastor who are serving groups of people who are being marginalized and how the church is a centerpiece for people to come together.
We all are still breathless, along with our families, friends, and community who are waiting in anticipation to see what we will do with all that we have learned. How will we begin to interact with God’s creation and our brothers and sisters in Christ after spending 2 weeks in Central Europe?
Unfortunately- I do not have that answer . I am sorry to say and in no way will we be able to change the world the moment we walk off the plane. But what you can do to help us is to sit with us and listen to the stories we share and look at the thousands of pictures we took. Allow space to process and space for silence. Join with us as we pray for each person we interacted with and each group of people who were and are being marginalized.
Finally, join the conversation about how we as the body of Christ can be set free from the marginalization and those who lands have been taken away. We do this so we can be set free as children of God to see the hope.
Grace and peace