Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bumblebee Stew and Passion

My bumblebee stew was getting cold while a colleague and I talked and dreamed dreams about expanding our vocational training center at Rapha House. Bumblebee stew is a concoction of corn, stewed tomatoes, onions and black beans over white rice. The restaurant J. Gumbo serves this Cajun dish at its location in Louisville, Kentucky, where we were attending the North American Christian Convention.

While we were exchanging ideas, my colleague mentioned something that struck me. He said that when he takes people on short term mission trips anywhere he expects them to develop a personal engagement plan. He then went on to explain what this is.

A personal engagement plan answers the question: "What am I going to do about this?" People travel to foreign lands in order to experience ministry in these places firsthand, whether this means church plants, caring for AIDS orphans or helping survivors of human trafficking. But too often they return and their focus begins to blur as the experience fades. A personal engagement plan keeps people focused and helps them to continue to take ongoing meaningful action.

Call it what you will. But without a personal engagement plan, passion for any cause begins to cool like bumblebee stew.

Commitment to the fight against human trafficking must not cool. Over one million children will be trafficked throughout the world this year. So, what are you going to do about this?

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
—Psalm 82:3,4