My daughter and I just got back from a recent mission trip to England this last weekend. At the risk of my still jet-lagging brain not being able to string a sentence together, I thought I’d recap the adventure while the memories are still fresh. We had a fantastic time.
As most of you know, in between the airfare purchase and our time of departure, my world was turned upside down. We considered backing out and staying at home. I’m so glad we went anyway.
As anyone who has ever staffed the Sozo Festival will attest, you have to experience it to understand it. Throughout our time there we kept hearing people say “… and that’s what Sozo’s all about.” Funny thing is, they were all describing a different experience. It is difficult to describe fully, but here’s my best shot: The Sozo Festival is a cross-cultural gathering of Jesus-followers for the expressed purpose of pursuing unity in the global body of Christ. While there’s lots of music, passionate worship, and discipleship, the real beauty lies in the relationships between children of God.
If all of this sounds too “froo-froo-frilly,” consider the deep divisions and mistrust between groups such as Catholic and Protestant, evangelical and liturgical, young and old, and the many European ethnic groups. Furthermore, consider the importance that Jesus places on the unity of his followers in his high priestly prayer as recorded in John 17. There is power when we come together in his name.
Personally, what I enjoyed most was being there with LuLu. I am so proud of her. She jumped in with both feet right away. She took her responsibilities seriously and executed them with that great spirit of hers and a smile. I don’t think that anyone worked harder or had a better time than she did. She made new friends and was a good friend. Randall noted that she is forever marked by an awareness of the nations now and that there is no going back. This brings me a very deep satisfaction.
I’m also thankful that she got to experience the necessary fund-raising for the trip. This too, is an important life-lesson and made the experience richer than had it been “Daddy bought me a ticket and we’re going to Europe!” We only got to go because of the generosity of many of you. It is a beautiful demonstration of a loving family and a community of faith.
You have my sincere gratitude. Thank you.