At the moment a couple of our closest friends are on their way back across the globe from Senegal where they've spent the last week in the small village of Diagle (pronounced something like jog-a-lay) that their church adopted. At the same time another old friend is in Ethiopia, where he's in charge of YWAM's mission there. Last fall my nephew spent a couple weeks in Kenya. And the week after Easter some other friends (one of whom is a doctor) take their family to Sierra Leon, working with a medical mission (the non-doctor and kids will do triage work--every hand is helpful). Someone else I was talking to the other day is on her way to Morocco on a short-term mission sometime next month.
All of these African trips--no, these African mission trips--have kept that continent continually before me recently. Well, in the last few years, really. But this week, as we look forward to this holiest of weeks, it humbles me to think of this gospel work continually going on across the world. And it strikes me that rather than raise our palm branches and march around a church sanctuary saying, "Hosanna! Holy is He who comes in the name of the Lord," maybe we should metaphorically march around the globe, saying the same thing. Hosanna to those who do the fistula surgeries on poor African women. And hosanna to their families who count it a privilege to work in the heat of Africa instead of sitting by a luxury pool for their spring break.
Blessed are those who hold the children in the orphanages, who bring those children food, who allow those same small children to crawl all over them. Blessed are they who spend months away from their own families, learning the language of the children they want to care for, find homes for. And blessed are their families at home who lay hands on them--across the ocean--as they do their God-called work.
Holy are they who play soccer with active young boys in boys schools, sweat a little with them, then share the gospel with them as well. Holy are they who find joy in the sweat, in the words, in the very being on this mission.
And holy are the ones who put lotion on the feet of old women who walk all their lives on bare calloused feet. Blessed are they who sit with these old village women who have become family them them, praying together, laughing together, dancing together. Hosanna to them who come in the name of the Lord. Who come to Africa in the Name of the Lord.
That's what I'm thinking this Palm Sunday Eve. But there are other places as well. Where do you see Him come? Where does He come through you?