Sunday, July 15, 2007
GOING TO BOLIVIA 3
click here to Going To Bolivia 1
click here to Going To Bolivia 2
SOUTH AMERICA AND SOMA
After graduating from seminary I was sent to work as a parish worker at the Church Of The Epiphany. I jokingly asked my wife Michelle if she was open to the idea of going to the Amazon, South America. She laughed and said I was crazy. I was later ordained deacon and served in St Andrew’s Cathedral. The Singapore diocese in those days was a hub for Holy Spirit driven renewal and missions was beginning to assert itself.
The diocese organized a worldwide mission consultation for SOMA (Sharing Of Ministries Abroad) leaders. SOMA is an Anglican body which sends teams to dioceses and parishes. Their focus is mainly on bringing renewal to groups and individuals open to the work of the Holy Spirit.
I can’t remember if the SOMA leaders met in the Cathedral or at Peninsula Hotel. It was a real blessing for me to meet up with experienced Christian leaders from all over the globe – the US, Britain, Australia etc…
I heard they were looking for suitable candidates for short term mission teams to do some work in South America. And so I plucked up my courage and approached the American clergyman in charge. After exchanging some pleasantries, I expressed my interest to be part of a team he was putting together.
He looked me over and asked how long I had been in renewal.
The next question stumped me, do you have any Spanish.
I don’t speak any Spanish, I answered.
He sounded a little dismissive and short, We can’t use you, sorry…
It was like pouring cold water over my youthful enthusiasm.
God's calling on a person always involves experiences of discouragement and that day was certainly one of them. Discouragements reveal our vulnerabilities and shortcomings. Its a blow to the pride to figure out we don't really have what it takes to serve Him. And that's where the learning curve really begins: God's ability thru our inability.