EYE OF THE TIGER!!
Maintaining Our Focus In The Midst Of Social Convulsions
This is a decisive week for Bolivia; civic leaders in the East have given the central government until this thursday to respond to their appeals for changes in the constitutional assembly; some of the campesinos have retaliated by promising to block the roads that lead to the FERIA EXPOSICION. This is Santa Cruz's biggest and most prestigious annual international event. Business communities in Latin America, Europe and parts of Asia gather to display their products in specials cubicles/stands; relationships are built and deals are cut. Its a 2 week event which highlights Santa Cruz as the engine of growth in the Bolivian economy. This year however Bolivia's social problems have a cast a shadow over the event. People I talk to, especially the taxi drivers are pessimistic about the future. The alarmists are talking about a civil war (a bit of an exaggeration!). And the mass media has not helped with its emphasis on doom and gloom.
Jesus is building his church in the midst of the convulsion: people are won to Christ; members are discovering their gifts, and we receive short term mission teams and continue to plan for growth. This is the Good News that shines a light in the darkness. At church services and midweek meetings one can sense the anxiety of the folk. Although its always important to let people share their thoughts and feelings about the current crisis, we need to come back and fulfill the purpose of the meeting - be it a leadership or cell meeting. There have been exceptions. At a recent gathering of the men's ministry, we put aside the study and let people talk and pray about the national crisis. There is no doubt that the church cannot ignore its social realities but there is always the danger of losing our focus on God's purposes and plan. We are mobilizing the parish (its called Christ Light of The World) to double its membership in evangelism and follow-up; we are also gearing ourselves up for a building project which will thrust us into the community. Nehemiah kept his eye on rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in the midst of opposition; his opponents were conspiring against him and his efforts. He did'nt allow the problems to distract him. Jesus grant us grace to imitate Nehemiah in this time of testing!
Although we take note of what's going around us, our focus - like the eye of the tiger- is on His divine purpose not only for the church but also for the nation.