Missions Retreat 2010: Forging Unity through the Power of Diversity (Part Two)

Unity.  Who wants it, right?  People usually don’t want to conform, bring into harmony or agreement, be or become similar to each other because they fear, somehow, they’ll lose a certain amount of control. It’s all about being independent and different from everybody else.  Our focus, it seems, has been on the pursuit of individuality while ignoring the more important matter of being in harmony with one another as Jesus and later Paul urged us to be.

But the unity I’m talking about is not dressing alike with dead, dull personalities and a boring gray uneventful life to live.  There is no greater adventure than knowing God to the fullest extent.  With Him shining through a life, that person becomes exquisitely beautiful, a mystery, uncontainable and unstoppable in the pursuit of godliness and holiness.

One of my favorite pictures. On a whim, someone said “everybody…go point to your country.”  After getting back and putting everything together for these posts I thought, ‘God, you really know how to document a story.’  From Left, Philippines (Michael and Love), America (Trecie and Me), Germany (Malte), Africa (Nyasha), Slovakia (Lenka).  Beautiful isn’t it? I love the diversity.

It’s in unity that our diversity shines the brightest.  There is a specific anointing that God has retained for bringing about unity…not just within one church structure but between denominations. Before my eyes I saw multi-denominations, multi-cultural individuals coming together in unity, only within a 24 hour period, and God impressed upon my heart that our inability to cooperate with one another, failing to forge unity cross-denominationally, has held back a vast majority of blessing and power to the church.  I know some may disagree, “we all are separate because we all have different ways we like to worship God”.  And that has been acceptable, but we are going to strive for the blessing that comes from unity, that reaches to the other side and says, “we welcome you regardless of your individual worship style, as long as you celebrate Christ as your Savior”.  God is big enough to take care of the rest.

Evening Day 1:  Our first stop after the tour was the Marshallese Cultural Center.  Here’s an excerpt from the brochure:

“Recent Archaeological investigations suggest that Kwajalein Atoll has been inhabited for at least 2,000 years.  This has been supported with the discovery of an intact, prehistoric burial on Kwajalein Island.”

Here are some museum showcases that include various articles that were used by the Marshallese.  (You can click on the pictures individually to enlarge them and see the details.)

A model of one of the most important sea vessels in a family’s household, the Outrigger Canoe.

This description gives the viewer an idea of the integral part ‘working together in unity’ plays in being successful and holding any family together, spiritual or natural.  I would encourage you to click on the picture and enlarge it so you can read it as it complements the title acutely.

A front page article about the Strange and Wonderful Marshallese navigation. The canoe is illustrated. The date of the article was the year 1955.

Here is a photo case of pictures taken after the battle for Kwajalein.  Notice also the ominous red mushroom cloud looming in the upper left of the photo, foreshadowing a very horrific period of time to come.  If you can enlarge and magnify the pic, there is an historical document below the photo that tells a brief history during that time.

Ah, time to eat.  It was onward to dinner at Emon Beach where we all gathered to have wonderful fellowship and delicious food.

MaryLou, one of our hostesses and sponsors for the retreat.

We all gathered for a group pic.

Chatting after supper and listening to a Christian band. From left: Lenka, Malte, Treice, Me, John (our regular sponsor who just happened to stop in on the festivities).

The evening came to a close and after walking through the soft sand on the beach, we all headed back to the hotel for some sleep.  The next day would be filled (not necessarily in this order) with shopping, birthdays, breakfast, church and well…you’ll see :)  I’ll pick up part three next week, continuing our journey of unity from a tiny island in the Pacific.

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