In the very first blog of this series I talked about the idea that missions should be absolutely everything we do, it should be the way we work a job, the companies we give our money to, the way we talk to our loved ones. With this in mind, for this weeks’ blog I interviewed Michael Green. Michael serves on the YWAM Harpenden Leadership Team, pioneered ID: a structure helping young staff develop and grow, and is a part of an exciting project brewing in East Africa.
When Michael and his wife Jessica came on staff in 2009, they felt the Lord call them to get involved in serving, and that’s exactly what they did. Michael has served in just about every way on this base, from working in the Oval Café to leading in freedom prayer to staffing DTS. But, what Michael is most excited about currently, is the marrying of his passions previous to YWAM (business and politics) to his work in YWAM. He is a part of a team that has started working with a Health Sciences University in Kampala, Uganda. They have the largest training hospital in East Africa, and so the team has been focusing on where IT and Healthcare come together. Through this, they have set up an initial certificate course that’s focused on IT and Healthcare.
Even in this first course they have already seen applicants with ideas that could alter the state of health care in East Africa and rural communities all across the globe. One applicant has brought Breathalyzer technology together with a smart phone to be able to test for tuberculosis instantly, instead of needing to send a blood sample to a lab.
I think anyone across the spectrum of backgrounds would agree that this is an amazing project, worth pursuing. It is beneficial and self-sustaining, Ugandan’s helping Ugandan’s, and eventually beyond. It is simple and possible and powerful. And so I asked him the question that seems to be my infinite question: why is this, as a missionary, your job? Why take this issue on as your own?
Michael is a man of strong words, he is not a person who lacks response, but he paused at this. “For me, the gospel is huge…[it’s] all encompassing,” He says to me, “it’s about all of our life, it’s about every aspect…it’s not just about words, it’s not just about someone converting, but it’s about the impact across their entire lives. So as Christians, as those that follow Jesus, we are concerned about everything about the person, the whole person, and so we should be at the forefront of trying to reduce death during childbirth, or infectious diseases, or poverty alleviation or education.”
Something that really hits me about the initiative that Michael has taken in this project is that it would be really easy to say: that’s someone else’s job, and let these problems we see in our society be. But, Michael felt God call him here to serve, and that’s exactly what he is doing, he has chosen something God has given him a passion for and decided to do something about a lack he has seen in the world.
People like Michael are radicals; people whom so wholly believe in God’s heart for the world that it impacts them to do something about the issues that are prevalent in society. As a person who calls himself a missionary, Michael has taken the thing that he loves, business, and decided to do something with that God given passion to then glorify God. Glorifying God with our lives is as much about the food that we put into our bodies and words we say as it is about the committees we sit on and the projects we help produce. People like Michael believe that if there is a lack in this world, it is their purpose to take the love of Jesus and do something with it. As so many before us have pointed out, missions is love, it is handing out love, in every single way we can, and even the ways we are afraid to.
“Wherever you are, that’s your missions field, your mission is to bring the kingdom of God here on earth to see his kingdom established here. And so for me this is something that I can get involved with that uses my talents, my experience, and I love it… It’s an amazing thing to do what you love.”
Is there something that you’re passionate about, something God has burdened you with that is building inside of you, but you have yet to do something with it? My question to you is: why in the world not? I encourage you to be people who do.
“But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” -James 1:22
Often when you think of missions certain imagines come to mind. I know for myself, images of building wells and orphanages under the African sun pop up immediately. Also skirts, very long, heavy skirts. As it turns out this is missions, but the interesting thing is that it’s only one form of missions. If missions truly is “to go out into all the world and preach the gospel,” then we have to actually go out into all the world; all the world: such as orphanages, but also hospitals, café’s, businesses, media, the list could go on forever. Yet, very rarely do we hear stories of people taking the love of Jesus into their everyday lives as “missions.” And that’s what this blog series is about, bringing a new perspective to this idea of missions, and what it truly means to live missionally focused lives.
Photos: Lauren Malpass, N/A