poitu varam

THE CHRONICLES OF A FLEDGLING MISSIONARY CALLED JOLLYBEGGAR "i still gaze fondly at all of the pictures, drink ginger beer, bunch my food, listen to punjabi dj tunes, play my dholki, wear my sarong (around the house only because in canada it is still really uncommon for a man to wear a wraparound skirt in public) and speak way too much of the differences between east and west..."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

epilogue


months later, i sit in my office on a snowy day, still thinking about my other home.



much going on
much to tell
much to treasure.



just days after i had returned to canada, a friend of mine walked into the church carrying a simple keyboard instrument. she went to the office of the pastor of youth and said 'i no longer play this- can you find a use for it?' just the day before, i had been sharing with my colleague the story of jesuthas' keyboard being taken by the tsunami...

the children banded together in the months that followed my trip to raise money for a place where mohamed and his congregation could meet together as one group (as opposed to doing church in his taxi.) they raised enough money for one and a half months' rent.

these two responses were already taking place before we even had a plan. pretty cool.

and today, exactly six months after my last day there, my best friend leaves for sri lanka. because he is lead pastor of our church, his visit carries with it great significance for this congregation at this time.

much has taken place in the last six months, as we have continued to further explore what a missional partnership can be. there are budget moneys in place to become further involved missionally in both our immediate community and our global village. in response to a series of modules on involvement in the global church, there are plans underway to send a team of four to serve at the kabool lanka pastors' retreat this coming august. there is even ginger beer being sold at the church coffee bar sundays after service!

as a church-planting church, the desire is in our congregational dna to see new churches be raised up by the hand of God. the news of the free methodist movement taking place in sri lanka was both challenging and affirming- it rewired our whole concept of how God might want to use us in his greater work... planting a church in canada or resourcing a church plant in sri lanka- what is the difference really? even my own sons have both expressed an interest in going to be part of what God is doing there, in addition to their service here in the local church.

so my pastor and friend takes with him a keyboard and some photographs of smiling kids holding up a happy gilmore cheque. more importantly, he takes the love of a bunch of people that have been waiting for years to become involved in something bigger than a church bubble into the next chapter, bearing witness to the love of Jesus to the ends of the earth the way we read in the eighth verse of acts 1.

so play the game of existence to the end of the beginning (lennon/mccartney)

7 Comments:

  • At 4/24/2006, Blogger jollybeggar said…

    kinda cool- for anyone who was paying attention to the comments left here and the people who have been leaving them... cinder and her husband are going to be part of the team for our trip of august 2007!

     
  • At 4/27/2006, Blogger Cinder said…

    i see an itinerary and look at the fact we're going in black and white and it still seems like a vision and dream...cool to know it's soon gonna be reality!

     
  • At 4/27/2006, Blogger jollybeggar said…

    it was a year ago that this journey began with a conversation over some really bad coffee with a really good friend...

    (see the first poitu varam post...)

     
  • At 4/27/2006, Blogger Cinder said…

    i will reread it, more than once between now and then...it was a year ago this clear vision of me teaching kids in Sri Lanka popped into my head...

     
  • At 5/17/2006, Anonymous Arul said…

    Christian fundamentalism in Sri Lanka:

    http://www.geocities.com/focussrilanka

     
  • At 7/03/2006, Blogger jollybeggar said…

    actually... cinder and her husband are going this august- 2006!

     
  • At 7/03/2006, Blogger jollybeggar said…

    here's an internet-suitable anonymous version of our support letter...

    June 5, 2006
    Hello friends
    It is time to share with you how God has been moving within our church’s increasingly globally missional heart. In the last year, God has called our church into an exciting partnership with the Free Methodist movement in Sri Lanka. Global ministries experts have pointed out that missions work does not consist only of evangelism, famine/disaster relief or medical aid. For example, in countries that already have 3% or more of their population evangelized, there is sufficient workforce to reach their countrymen with the gospel. What these countries need from a missional partnership is not evangelists but friends who will walk alongside of them, resourcing them as they seek to further reach their own people for Jesus. The population of Sri Lanka is 3.7% evangelical.

    The relationship between our local church and the Free Methodist Church in Sri Lanka began with a “Scout” mission that Pastor Jolly was called to participate in back in August 2005. His role was essentially to participate in the blazing of a trail towards the adventures that God is setting up for Canadian Free Methodists from local churches to become involved in Sri Lanka and the world. The partnership continued with a “Diplomatic” mission that Pastor Amigo was called to participate in this past February 2006. On this trip, he built relationships with many of the Sri Lankan pastors, visiting and speaking at many of their churches, as well as bringing moneys raised by our Discoveryland children towards the facility needs of a Sinhala congregation in Colombo. Now this local church's missional odyssey continues with the sending of a four-person team consisting of Pastor Jolly and three others (Cinder and her husband being two of the three) to Sri Lanka in August 2006.

    This adventure is especially exciting because it is involving not only pastors but laity… everyday people responding to God’s call to actively apply the instruction of Jesus found in Acts 1.8. After all, we all know that there are no ‘class distinctions’ in God’s family… everyone in every station of life is called by Jesus to be his witnesses. The excitement grows further because of the measure of faith required for a local church to send an entire team anywhere to do anything. In truth, when a church sends anyone out, it is as though the whole church is going. However, sending a team involves greater challenges and greater opportunities for the faith of the local church to grow in the process.

    Pastor Jolly will be providing teaching and leadership at the Young Adults’ Camp in early August, and will be leaving on August 4, 2006 ahead of the rest of the team. They will be joined by the Cinders (leaving August 9, 2006) who will be providing children’s programming for the Pastors’ Family Camp that is to be held the week following. Pastor Jolly and intern will be involved in teaching and leading at this event as well. In addition to these official duties, our team members will also be ‘on call’ to, as Dan Sheffield, Global Ministries coordinator for the Free Methodist Church in Canada has put it, “preach, pray or die (with hopefully a couple minutes notice!)” Although Dan was joking about the last one, the team covets your prayers, as Sri Lanka is spiritually diverse (its population consisting of Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim resistance to the gospel) and in the throes of civil war.

    There are numerous ways that you can participate in this adventure- the first has already been mentioned: fervent prayer. As we seek to glorify God in all things, he often requires us to serve out of our weakness, or at least out of our comfort zones! Please pray for health, peace, and spiritual protection for the members of our team, even in the weeks leading up to the trip of August 4-23, 2006.

    The second way to join in is to help with the costs. The cost of this trip for our team will be approximately $10,000 for airfare and other transportation costs plus approximately $1800 for living expenses (about $35/day/person) In addition to this, there is the need for materials for the children’s programming. We know that God is faithful and He will provide what is needed for us to go. The team members are personally raising funds, but would like to ask you for help in this area. Any financial aid, great or small, that you can provide for this trip will be gratefully accepted because it all adds up. Our church is authorized to provide tax-deductable receipts for any financial gift.

    Thank you for taking time to prayerfully consider how to take part in this adventure that will take us all to the ends of the earth to be witnesses for Jesus there.

    Shalom

    the team

    *note: if you would like to somehow partner with our team, please email jollybeggar at jollybegger64@hotmail.com

     

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