To Burundi, From Mars, With Love
Our preparations are moving right along. We've been meeting on Tuesday nights for about 6 or 7 weeks now. We've hosted a Burundi Benefit night at church, gone on an overnight retreat with the rest of the teams going to East Africa, and a few other...shall we call them...gatherings, of sorts. 4 Weeks from now, we will be "in country" as they say.
As part of our team preparation, we worked through the formation of a covenant--no animals were harmed in the making of this covenant. Below is what we came up with to guide us as we bind ourselves together with an identity and a mission. Feel free to interact with this covenant, giving us feedback, pushing us forward in our commitment to bind ourselves to something larger than ourselves.
Identity—who we are…
- We are not a collection of individuals going on a mission trip. Rather, we are a representation being sent out from Mars Hill Bible Church, which is a Trinitarian community living out the way of Jesus. Thus, the eleven of us are bound together and committed to living and serving as ONE.
- We recognize that we are not ‘saviors’ of the people of Burundi. However, as ONE, we set out to be the hands and feet of Jesus, demonstrating and announcing the whole Gospel. We commit to doing this with a posture of humility and teachability, expecting to learn from and be transformed by those that we engage with.
- Though we are being restored, we recognize that we are broken and so desire to engage this mission in the spirit of Philippians 2:1-18.
Mission—what we covenant to pursue…
- Inasmuch as the Spirit of God chooses to work through us, we long to bring heaven to earth, to cover despair with hope, to drench brokenness with grace, to speak courage into places of fear, and to honor our fellow image-bearers of God however we can.
- Our project goals include: 1) Speaking into the crisis of HIV/AIDS by partnering with the local church to rescue, recreate, and restore the future for the youth of Burundi. 2) To see and learn more about the growing role of micro-finance in Burundi. 3) To sacrificially give our ‘selves’, our time, our gifts, our strengths and weaknesses…all we can give…to the men, women and children of Burundi.
- We commit as a team and as individuals to be a living and breathing connection between the lives of those we meet in Burundi and the life we live back home. We will initiate and maintain a mystical relationship across hemispheres, allowing this relationship to pervasively infect the consciousness of Mars Hill, West Michigan, and beyond.
- We will meet weekly as a team to prepare our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies to fully engage in our identity and mission in Burundi. We will honor our teammates by being on time, being fully present, encouraging one another, and serving one another through hospitality, prayer and authentic relating. We will fast on Tuesdays as an effort to create solidarity with some of those we will serve who go without food and water on a regularly basis.
- While we are in country, we will give ourselves completely and sacrificially to the service of the local church and World Relief staff, recognizing that we are not their for our own agenda, but for the agenda for Him who we serve.
- When we return home we commit to being involved in the East Africa group at Mars Hill, the refugee ministry as appropriate, and being a catalyst for awareness of and engagement with Burundi and her neighbors for 1 year ending April 2008.