Thursday, October 9, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your oikos." - Acts 16:31
There is no place like home. Today I set my watch back on Central Time for the first time since May 11, which felt real nice. Arriving at McAllen Miller Airport has never felt so good. I don’t know if I have ever been so happy to be home as I am right now.
This is not the first time I have been left home like this, nor is this the shortest I have ever been away, but this is the sweetest my return has ever been. As you know, I have spent the last week visiting my sister and her husband, Steve, in New Jersey. My family flew up to meet us, and we had an incredible reunion in the middle of the Philadelphia Airport. And if this wasn’t enough, the icing on the cake came when I saw my best friend standing in the airport. My family asked him to come with them, and of course did not tell me. Definitely a great surprise.
So, to answer your question: Yes. This summer has been absolutely incredible so far. I have been to various parts of India, Nepal, New York, Philadelphia, Delaware (by accident), and New Jersey. I have seen the Himalayas, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, where the Declaration of Independence was drafted, and Times Square. I have slept on a marble floor in Delhi, in a hostel with orphans, in a 19th century British cottage in the mountains of Shimla, on a roof of a school, and on various other floors, couches, and beds. I have ridden in rickshaws, taxis, on the back of motorcycles, buses, and subways.
Taking into account all of this, I can say that this moment right now is the best. I am home, and there is no place like it. Not even close.
This past year God has taught me the incredible blessing of a home, of my home. Home is not the structure that is currently surrounding me as I type. No, home is my community. The Greek word used over and over for this in the New Testament for this idea is oikos. While I have been traveling from place to place, I have been longing to return to my oikos.
My oikos is my home. It is my community. The place where I find loved ones, friends and family. At this point in my life I am not called to India or New York. Yes, God has used those places to reveal himself more fully to me. But the immediate call of these revelations has lead me back to my oikos in order that he may use these experiences as a blessing to those in it.
Dr. Thom Wolf, the man I worked with in India, has an interesting concept called Oikos Evangelism. One of the reasons I spent a large part of my summer with him was a result of the impact this concept made on me as I read it several months before I ever met him. He says “Oikos Evangelism is God's natural means to spread the Good News, for everyone who has ever, or will ever receive Christ. And the key that opens every oikos is life transformation through the indwelling of the living God.”
People need community. I need community. And I believe God has placed me in my own specific oikos in order to glorify him and make him known. I don’t know where my oikos will be in the future, but I know where it is now.
This knowledge is what makes this return so sweet. I am returning to my oikos.