2017 has started with some unexpected trials. Two of For the Love of Missions’ Board members have loved lost ones in the first 5 days of the year. Loss often causes us to reflect on love, family and faith. It has also caused us to reflect on our work in Guatemala and whatever difficult places God calls us into. Experiencing our own pain and entering into pain with others is contrary to much of mainstream North American Christian culture, who seek to explain and move past rather than experience together. Joel Van Dyke and Kris Rocke write, “What the mind wants most is communion, not explanation. Unfortunately, communion rarely happens in a culture that feels compelled to explain and defend almost everything, particularly our faith. It is interesting that Jesus rarely explained anything.”
The mentors in the Zone 3 garbage dump community have also expressed this challenge. As they walk in relationships with families in the mentoring program, they walk with them through very difficult situations, and they are learning that while our human nature wants to provide a solution, often the family simply wants connection in the dark times. This is true in suburban Atlanta, rural upstate New York as well as urban Guatemala. So as 2017 picks up steam, we at For the Love of Missions challenge you to come out of a comfort zone of wanting to solve a problem and into the unknown of presence with the hurting wherever God has placed you.
 Rocke, K. and J. Van Dyke. Geography of Grace. Kindle location 434