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March 2012 Update

March 2012

You may recognize the name Vic DeLeon.  He is one of our CMF coworkers here in Mexico.  Along with a couple of Mexican pastors, Vic has developed a Bible training institute that continues to help national leaders develop skills and a firm foundation in Bible teaching and church leadership.  Vic is a gifted leader and mentor who has been developing leaders with CMF for many years.  Not too long ago he shared with me a perspective that illustrates what I like to call the "Nanny McPhee Effect."
 
Did you see the Nanny McPhee movie?  Nanny says, "When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay.  When you want me but no longer need me, then I must go."  What does that have to do with missionary work?  Allow me to explain the Nanny McPhee effect.
 
Vic's story that illustrates the effect is about a time when he lived in Chile (South America) and he had been invited to be a guest speaker for the youth group meeting in the congregation where he served.  Vic started this youth ministry, trained and equipped leaders, and empowered them to continue serving without his involvement.  At this point in the story, he was no longer directly involved in the youth ministry.  Vic says, "After I taught the lesson, they thanked me and then dismissed me."  He understood that they felt as if they no longer needed him to be involved.  No disrespect intended, they just did not need him to lead them.  As any good mentor would, Vic told me that something similar might happen to me as Teri and I prepare to leave the King of Kings church and pursue another phase of our ministry.  Last Sunday (March11, 2012) it happened.
 
Earlier in the week, I was contacted and asked if I could be prepared to lead the adults on Sunday morning because the person scheduled could not be contacted and the desire was for our worship to be well planned and well prepared.  I came ready to teach and lead the adults in discovering truth from God's Word.  When I arrived, I was informed that someone else would be leading the adults and that my participation would not be needed.  I felt like the starting quarter back getting side-lined.  No disrespect was intended or shown, I just felt like the understudy for a moment.  I thank my God that those feelings faded quickly and were replaced by the realization that what was happening was the natural result of training up good leaders.
 
I rejoice at the sense of responsibility and calling that my brothers and co-workers in this adventure are showing.  This is confirmation that they no longer need me.  Nanny McPhee is telling me that the time is coming when it will be time to go.  Meanwhile, I know that my role is to continue encouraging and equipping as well as spreading the hope that we have in Jesus.  And I keep reminding myself and others that there are more places here in Mexico that need a healthy, reproducing church to announce the good news of eternal life in Christ and train people to both follow Jesus and train others to follow Him.  That's where we're headed.
 
May God be Praised!