In a recent conversation a friend of mine used the term "reverse mission" experience to explain the surprise learning that occurs on the part of the one who is sent on a mission. This morning our gathering was blessed with the presence of a group from the Marietta, GA, church that has partnered with us to serve refugees in Lexington. I got to talk to one young missionary, age 11, who described her group's hosting of a party for the refugees for whom they had been praying. She was touched by a 4-year-old African girl who danced for joy at one point during the party. My missionary friend noted that nobody in her home danced so, despite all of out talk of the joy of this season. I could see that this girl was taking home a gift. It seems that a portion of the gift she came to give, the gift of her time and attention, was returned to her. The mission was reversed as this blessing travelled outward in widening circles.
This may explain why I was so touched by my short talk with the young missionary. To hear that she will go home contemplating joy and giving and receiving blesses me so much. God is using her gift to help me reconsider giving and receiving. Lord, we thank you for those you send.