USMM - the journey so far......

I can't believe that I only have 2 months or so left until I finish USMM. I have had an amazing year so far it has been incredible. I have had the privilege of spending time with some awesome people. We have become such an amazing family, it has been great to hang out with these people I have learnt so much from them. I couldnt have spent this year with better people. I am sure we will all remain really good friends after we have finished this year.

So then the teaching from USMM has been so life changing. I thought I had heard everything and pretty much heard all the teaching I could. However tearning we have received could fit into two categories that which I heard when I was in youth with a mission and that which is totally new.

Repenting and renewing your mind and being reminded that the sprirtual realm is something which I learnt in YWAM however I have been reminded of this and it has been reiterated to me with greater ferocity.

The ideas that have spoken to me the most have been ecology. I feel like the Holy Spirit has been nudging me about the environment and ecology for a while but I have been putting it to the back of my mind. I remember when I was in the Methodist church how I was all into social action and I was aware of ecology but back then it wasn't talked about as much as it is now.  When Ruth Valerio came and taught us about God and Creation, she showed us the reality about the state of our world and it was really sobering and scary. She said in many ways it was too late to make a difference. This sciencetifically could be true but I have to believe that we can reverse it both practically and supernaturally.  That day I realised that being a Christian was so much more than I had ever thought before. I realised that each decison I make has a knock on effect on the rest of the world and this includes people's lives. This means that what I buy whether that be food or clothes really does matter.
The very fact that I buy some garment which is really cheap means that somewhere on the other side of the world someone is going to pay for my cheap lifestyle.  I was shocked in some ways how much of a consumer lifestyle I lead even going about and doing seemingly normal things. I would love to change my life over night but instead I have made it a priority. Before the course I would have left the environmental stuff up to the activist and greenpeace because we Christians had more important things to do. Now I realise that it is our responsibility and especially as Christians to lead the way in making the environment a priority. The truth is we only have one world. I have also come to realise that we were given this world to steward and furthermore the new heaven could even be on this actual earth. Sometimes I do wonder how God can save our planet when we have made such a hash of it. Nonetheless Jesus redeemed us and we are work in  progress as his love transforms us and if he can do it with us why can't he do it with them world after all creation was included in the redemption of the cross, this is something I have learnt on the course.

It all became clear why I had only come to this conclusion recently when we had a lecture about the history of Pentecostalism. I have been wondering for a while why pentecostal churches were not so concerned about social action or the environment and I wondered why. Through these lectures I realised that this was because Pentecostals had the theology of Jesus combing back really soon and we were going to be whisked away from this world. However we are still here and it looks like God wants us to make the best of this world and that means bothering about the environment and those around it. We are meant to rule and reign on this earth that was the plan originally and it hasn't changed.

I have a real sense now of what it practically means to rule and reign and build the kingdom of Jesus on the Earth creating heaven on earth how exciting :)


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