I am wondering why I can not be myself and still serving Christ in the institution I have served for nine years. Why is that a successful church is measured by what is happening inside of the walls?, and how come a place can be called a phantom ministry when it has served outside of the four walls. What is wrong with this picture? Are we into the business of creating big churches or impacting our local communities?
I am sitting at the House of Thai restaurant, one of my favorite places since I came to live at Cookeville. I have seen this place developed since the first time I went a couple of years back. It amazed me how a different location and a better building makes business even better. I saw many other restaurant try to be successful but failed, but HOT(the way is called) has flourished. I could not imagine the uncertainty of the owners when they decided to buy the building, and plan a major move. Now this placed has flourished and it has become one of the best places to eat in town.
So while I was siting there, I saw many people come in, get their food and leave; others will come by themselves and enjoy their meal in the company of their loneliness, just as I was. So with this I was wondering why we have created so much to do in one single day? Or why do we expect people to come to our programs, but we can not be out in the place where they lived, eat, play, and have fun, and may be become companionship in their every day moments of isolation? What about setting your office in the local coffee shop or restaurant so people may know that if they need someone to listen to their so burden hearts, there will be a chair empty for them. I can not count the many people I have been listening while having a cup of coffee or even going to eat at the Thai restaurant. I lost the count on how many people have come to my house and enjoy a good meal and the great gift of hospitality. Most of the time the one who receive the most is the host. Is this really look like a phantom to you?, well it does for others because what I do can not be measured in annual or progress reports. What I do is measured by the many smiles, laughs, tears and good times together.
May be is not that I am leaving “full time ministry” but in reality I am becoming ,for the first time, a full time minister because I will just be in the space God has created for humanity to live, and listening to their hearts, opening the doors of my house and accepting everybody, or even just a simple greeting, or an informal conversation with the people we see everyday in our walk for this city. I can not accept the fact that what we do everyday, with everybody will be an unknown ministry not worthy of the support of the institutional church. I know that I have planted many seed of friendship in many hearts whom right now are back to the countries they came from. Just to remember these are the countries from the people I have had the opportunity to open my house and my heart: Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Peru, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Panama, Cuba, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Nicaragua, Spain, France, England, Germany, Austria, Korea, China, Mongolia, Iran, Holland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Montenegro, Ghana, Nigeria, Yemen, and United States; If being able to offer this to all these countries,sowing my time and friendship is not enough to be called a ministry then there is ,of course, something wrong with this picture.
I think, now that I am out of class, the grieving process for the work I have done has started, bare with me, I know I will come out of this.