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As the saying goes,
"God Doesn't Call the Qualified,
He Qualifies the Called"
In my case, that couldn't be more true!
At our going away party,
my friend and I realized that I didn't even know
the names of all twelve apostles...
During our formation with Family Missions Company,
we were asked to write a testimony
describing why we love Jesus so much.
It was in that moment that I realized I didn't love Jesus.
I didn't even know who the living Jesus was.
For me, He was nothing more than
a character in a history book...
...a book I hadn't spent much time reading.
As a kid, I got kicked out of class for arguing (loudly) with my catechism teacher
about the legitimacy of the beatitudes.
For all practical purposes,
I was as unqualified as one could possibly be.
What was God thinking when he called me???
Many, many, many years ago Frank and Genie Summers started Family Missions Company to help qualify people like me. They designed a period of training called "Intake" whereby future missionaries could learn how to preach the gospel and serve the poor. Frank and Genie are amazing disciples and understand God's tendency to call the unqualified. As such, they knew that FMC's training needed to include instruction on the gospel itself.
One day, during our training in Louisiana, as I snuggled up on the comfy couch I heard our facilitator say,"Today, we're going to learn how to teach the whole kerygma in one talk." My chest tightened and I felt a bit of panic race through my veins. I slowly raised my hand and admitted to the group, "I don't even know what the kerygma is. I feel like I've never heard that word in my life." Our leader laughed and assured me that I was in the right place.
Our three months of preparation with FMC was invaluable. We learned SO, SO much!
Last night we taught the whole kerygma in one talk FOR THE FIRST TIME. It was so fun! Following is a summary of our teaching. Katelyn led the group in creating a visual image while Chris told the story of our salvation.
The Whole Kerygma in One Talk:
Everything began with God, who is almighty and all powerful. ("Dios" is the word for God in Spanish.)
God created the world and all that it contains. The plants and animals were delightful, but they weren't designed with the capacity to love God.
God created man and woman in His likeness to participate in a beautiful exchange of love; with each other and with HIM.
People have always turned away from God. When we sin, we create a barrier between us and God, which impedes the mutual exchange of love. On our own,there is no way to break through that barrier. It doesn't matter how many "good works" we do or how "nice" we are.
When Jesus died on the cross He broke through that barrier and created a "channel" through which we can be reunited with God. Following Jesus in this "channel" is the ONLY way to access Heaven and eternal life with God. In John 14:6, Jesus says, "I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through me." Following other paths may help people feel "enlightened", "tranquil" and "balanced", but they don't lead to Heaven.
After accepting the truth that our salvation is dependent on Jesus, we need to conform our lives and live the way that He taught us to live. In Matthew 18:3, Jesus says, "Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven."
The Peruvians in the little pueblo of Nuevo Morropon were delighted to hear the Good News...
Even though I now know the names of the twelve apostles in English, I haven't memorized them in Spanish yet so I'm not much further ahead. It trips me up that James in Spanish is "Santiago" and several books of the bible have very different sounding names. Thankfully, they're in the same order so I can always figure it out.
I am still so horribly unqualified for this job... ONLY by His grace (and lots of support from FMC and Team Carmody) are we able to bring the love and Good News of Jesus to the people here in Peru.