Stand by me! — Dependency to independence to interdependence

By Cláudio Carvalhaes

Bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6)

When you think about mission, how many people do you think are involved? When I grew up, I learned that mission had basically three parties involved: God, the missionary and the people that the missionary would work with on God’s behalf.

However, when I became a missionary myself from Brazil to the United States, I learned that mission work was a much more complex networking of people and institutions with lots at stake. Any work I did or hoped to do was inextricably connected and dependent on what had happened before me and on the relationships that happened through my work. People whom I didn’t know had dreamed, cared and loved about a people they didn’t know. Because of their love for this people, I ended up working with them. Church bodies were involved as well as leaders and lay people, here and abroad, all connected making mission work possible. We were strangers from different cultures and languages blessing each other, and working together for the sake of God’s love for the world.

When this mission grew, the blessed people started to bless others. This little church to which I was appointed in New England started to do mission work with four poor churches in Brazil. As a result, 150 little children received two meals every day. 150 children and their families interrelated with the people of this small church in Massachusetts who were also deeply connected to the people who loved them in United Stated and Brazil. Interconnection, interdependence, intercorrelation: that is what mission is all about.

God’s Mission Matters: Stand By Me toolkit – Matters from Pop Culture

Reflections on how Cirque du Soleil, a circus act, can bring us closer to God. As we think about Christian mission from the experiences of Cirque du Soleil, what are the connections that can be made?

Download this exercise for help with studying the God’s Mission Matters: Stand by Me podcast:

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