Saturday, September 27, 2014

On Missions. 01

Wahiawa Welcomes You

I work for a non-profit humanitarian organization that focuses on doing and going and being active.  And in this place, nobody wants my job.  Or I should say, there are very few people who come to this place led by the starlight glow of doing accounting.  The appeal is to save the world, not save the pennies.

But the truth is, I wanted this position.  I am among the few who actually like organization and forms and counting things.  I function perfectly fine in a cubicle, as long as I have a good pen and paperclips.

You see, what makes my job difficult is not the problem solving, on paper or with interpersonal communication.  What makes my job difficult is explaining why what I do is also missions.

My daily view

In this body, I am not the hand that puts the apple into the basket of a needy woman at the weekly Feeding the Hungry Program.  (But I do help the accountability of watching the allocation of funds from government grants for FTH)

In this body, I am not the feet that goes to Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, or the Middle East. (But I do help process the donations that come through on their behalf)

I am not the staff that trains the 3-month internship, or leads the Surfers Leadership School.  I cannot surf, I can barely swim, and a chronic condition prevents me from adventures and strenuous activity.  I don't have a pretty view every day, or have interesting things to mention to remind people of how I help make global impact.  I am not the photogenic poster-child for this organization.

Maybe one could say that I'm the glorious digestive system.  Processing all that comes in and allocating all the nutrients (funds) where they need to go.  Maybe I'm also bad at metaphors.  But regardless of what I am, I have a role.  And you have a role.  Even if you're the hamstring.  And even if I'm not walking on international soil, I feel beyond blessed to use my capabilities to empower others.


Yesterday, I spent the day crunching numbers, shuffling papers, and working on spreadsheets so heavy with formulas, I think it broke the internet.  So after work, I left the office and walked to my car.

And on that little walk, I passed a half-drugged man with fake gold chains, and the grand $$pendants dangled down to his exposed belly.  He scared the heck out of me, but I approached him so I could pet his pit-bull puppy in his arms. I talked about my own pit-bull and he became less threatening, more friendly.

And on that same little walk, I saw one of the (now) teen boys who I haven't seen in months!  And his first act was not to say hello, or to hug me per-usual, but his first act was to take his report card out of his pocket and show me his mostly A's, and some B's.  I ignored the one and only C- for performance, because I was proud.  I am proud.  And it warmed my heart that he wanted to share this accomplishment with me.

In this body, I am not the eyes that watch children grow, and train them with loving wisdom through the Ulu Pono Program that helps at-risk youth in Wahiawa. But as a part of this body, I share the victories and the joys of everyone else.  I tell their stories proudly; I tell others about their trip to North Korea, their outreaches in Waianae, the building of a new Outreach Center.

The role I play today may be unknown by many, and it is just fine.  I love Wahiawa.  I love my town, I love it in its brokenness, I love it on its way to restoration.  I love what I do, and where I am, and the mystery of where I will be.  Or at least, where everyone else will be.

But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 
I Corinthians 12




Maybe you're just like me, not able to go out, but able to send.  And I cannot do this alone; I want to be a part of the transformation of my city, and would love for you to pray about partnering with this mission through Surfers Church.