Missionaries seem to flock together at gatherings. During the recent Converge Mid-Atlantic United Conference that we attended in Pennsylvania, we witnessed exactly that. If you know missionaries, then you probably know that they're willing to socialize with those who are unlike them in some way. We all end up together at some point, though. A dinner for conference attendees was held on the first night in an ice hockey arena at Penn State. We were off the ice and elevated from it at an eating area scattered with high top tables and dozens of people from the eastern United States. Conversation struck with one of the guys, a missionary to Japan. He has such a heart for music and the people of Japan. Then as we found a table to continue conversation we were introduced to another missionary who had spent many years in Iceland. We shared about the things that can be identified like food experiences and social construct. Some of our questions to other missionaries typically revolve around what it looks like to cross over into another culture, what has been learned, and how it is handled. Of course we had to ask about those things, too. It was incredible to feel so united, which is the result of us being brothers and sisters in Christ.
Even the next morning rolled into a time of those in International Ministries - representing Asia, Africa, Middle East, deaf community - as we gathered together in the living room of a log cabin, prayed together, met one another, learned from each other, and shared as one body. Each of us is involved in crossing cultures. Missionaries seek to understand what it looks like to cross boundaries, especially cultural boundaries. The Perspectives Course that we recently attended taught us that missions is not the goal of the Gospel, but the means by which we will present others with the Gospel. Then we can all worship our Lord together as one body since as believers in Christ, we are one body of many parts. That body is to work together. When birds of a feather flock together, they're united.
This month has seemed to fly by. We started out the month wrapping up the Perspectives Course in Maryland; two weeks later we were at the Converge Mid-Atlantic Conference in Pennsylvania. We are wrapping up the month back at our current basement apartment, "home," where we're getting back into a routine of Ministry Partner Development. With all of the travel this past month, which we love and enjoy, we weren't able to meet with and develop as many partners as hoped for. The Lord will provide in His timing. Our monthly budget for Togo is currently 55% funded. January still remains our goal for the move to Togo!
Please pray for us in this way: - That our weeks in July will be filled with opportunities to share about the 6 Degree Initiative and to invite others to be a part of it financially and prayerfully. - That the move for our teammates to Togo at the end of July will go smoothly and that any remaining needs they have will be provided for.
Much love from us.
Better Together, Blake & Kristen Harwood
Blake & Kristen Harwood, Missionary
Help Blake and Kristen build a ministry camp and plant churches to share the Gospel in Togo as a part of the 6 Degree Initiative.