So, I've been MIA for a while. I'm ok with that! I just got back from an amazing week at the Camp BIMI reunion. Most people think of it as a "camp" camp, but it's not really like that. A friend of mine described it as a super-charged missions conference with class sessions in the morning and services in the evening. I really enjoyed the devotions we had each night after the service. The guys and gals separated and had a time of open forum. I like hearing how the missionary wives dealt with the day to day life on the field.
The sessions were great, too. We had 15 in total. This year I was able to attend the Camp III sessions. Some of the topics covered were issues in missions, deputation disasters, calamities of a candidate, the family unit, commitment, organization, and spiritual dryness. These sessions are taught by missionaries and directors. They know their stuff. One of the sessions that really touched me was the about commitment. I live in a generation that has commitment issues. We are noncommittal about many things. God needs people who are willing to commit to the cause and not look back or leave when the going gets tough. Life is full of joy and sorrow. I liked the phrase that the best (not necessarily safest) place is being in the center of God's will. Many Christians have faced great trials, even lost their lives, living for the Lord. He gave them strength to endure. He allowed the trying of their faith so that they could grow. Bro. Baughman has a file full of names of those who have QUIT the mission field. There is a difference between those who give up and those who are unable to continue serving due to health issues.
Camp BIMI and its staff do not push that every camper is supposed to go off to the foreign field after attending. It simply gives you the knowledge of the reality of the missionary's life. As long as you are doing the will of God, the staff is excited for you. Their big project was formatting the current issue of the Encourager like a yearbook and listing those alumnus who are serving as laymen, students, missionaries, and full-time Christian service workers. It was wonderful to see so many people continuing in service.
I attended Camp BIMI for the first time 6 years ago just go get information. Then I went again the next year. What draws me back each time is the sincerity of each staff person and their heart for missions, here and abroad. One of the things I want to do is go on a SMART trip. I've been wanting to do that for 6 years now, actually. I want to experience it and see what the Lord has for me.
Right now, I love where the Lord has me serving. My classroom is my mission field. But, I'm still open to the call of missions if that is what the Lord has for me.