In November we wrote about preparing people to “receive the gift” as a form of describing an aspect of missiology that we are involved in here in Colombia. But, we are not alone in this preparation—we partner with the Covenant in Colombia, especially on a national level. That is why Gary found himself this week sitting in his 18th board meeting of a national Colombia Covenant organization this year (this doesn’t count the number of regional or local board meetings that we have attended or have participated in). One aspect of Colombia Covenant missionary partnership is the role that the Mission plays on national boards. Because of our vision and purpose to accompany the Colombia Covenant in its ministries and vision, our Mission has been invited to have a seat on the national boards – Education Foundation CEMPEC, Women Ministries, Executive Board, Covenant Social Ministries. Gary and Mary Lou end up being the ones who sit on these boards. Gary found himself taking an evaluative look at the Mission’s role in sitting on these boards this past week as it takes up time and energy and budget monies to be present for these meetings. How does sitting on a national board fulfill our vision to “walk alongside of the Covenant leadership and people” and “prepare them to receive the gift”?
To start with, Gary and Mary Lou, along with Cathy Campobello, are “Long-term missionaries”. All of us have more than 20 years experience working with the Covenant of Colombia. That doesn’t mean that we “know it all” or that we have “seen it all”. We are surprised often by what occurs here in Colombia. It does mean, however, that on all of the current boards where the Mission sits, we are the members of the board with the most years of experience in working with the Covenant. That gives us a special challenge to continue “accompanying” and “walking alongside” without taking over the lead or making a power-play in a decision because we have “seen” it before, or we have “been there” before, or we “know what’s going to happen.” We try to remind ourselves that just because a previous circumstance or decision took place in past years that doesn’t mean that in this occasion the result or the path is already determined if the same decision is made. The players are different than before, the world is definitely different than before, and the Covenant of Colombia has grown, matured and adapted to the different players and transitioning world. Our Mission, we hope, has done the same—grown, matured and adapted.
So, sitting through the various meetings is well worth the time and effort because it provides us with another opportunity on a national level to walk alongside, accompany and participate in the definition of the Covenant as it lives and breathes today and forges ahead. Pray for us that we can truly listen to God’s voice and contribute with integrity when our opportunities arise partner with God on a national Covenant level.