"Enjoy your time in the Kingdom."
These words spoken to our mission trip team came from the mouth of a local Tongan man nearly one year ago.
For him the words were merely a patriotic and generous gesture, voicing his approval of the life that he has made for himself in the nation known as the Kingdom of Tonga. For me, however, those words were were incredibly insightful and challenging, because they turned my attention to the Kingdom of God, in which I live everyday regardless of my location on the planet.
God's government is not a democracy, neither is it socialist nor communist. It IS a kingdom, and a kingdom of light at that! It is a kingdom where God has full authority and right to rule, and whose presence can be felt among His children. It is a realm where the economy is upside down, a place where the last will be first and the first will be last. In this kingdom service is considered greatness and the poor inherit all riches.
Yes, I think I'll do that; I'll enjoy my time in the Kingdom!
With these words still ringing in my mind, I anticipate what a return to the Kingdom of Tonga will be like in a just a month's time. Lord willing, our small NZ team will once again board a plane and spend a week supporting the amazing ministry of the Mango Tree Respite Centre, a compassionate ministry site that seeks to serve those with disabilities living in poverty. We will be engaging in more "blessed messy-ness" through sensory learning and interaction with parents and young children.
Please pray for the work of the Mango Tree Centre, for the people of Tonga, and for our team's partnership with the ministry there.
Our trip is scheduled for Sept 27-October 4, 2014!