Mapping! Most people misunderstand and don’t realize the significance of mapping. Mapping paints a picture of what is and at the same time implies what is not.
Good mapping goes beyond just describing the physical features of a particular area. It, in a real sense, allows one to get a lay of the land in terms of the people in a specific locale and how those people cross one another paths in life.
Reasons We Should Map Our Communities . . .
1. For us, an important consideration behind map making will always be the ties between physical space and social relationships. In essence, mapping our communities reveals bridges between physical space and social relationships.
2. Mapping Your Community, in a sense, enables one to rise above the immediate range of vision and consider the features and relationships of larger areas, whether the view is obstructed by a natural jungle or a “concrete jungle.”
3. Narrows Down Areas Needing Further Mapping and Research.
4. Focuses Attention to Where and Who to Emphasize Resources
Even more important, mapping our locale helps us go beyond passing people by as we go about our daily responsibilities. In mapping we will not miss Unreached people, who possibly have no friends to share the message of hope through Jesus Christ.
The peoplegroups.info initiative seeks to discover Unreached Unengaged people groups now residing within the USA and Canada. Why not be a part of this initiative?
Go to http://www.peoplegroups.info and register, then go a step further and become an editor so that you can map the people groups in your locale.
As I encounter people who engage people groups up close and personal on a daily basis, I am continually reminded of the need of “perseverance”. Their narratives and stories reveal a spirit to stick it out and not give up no matter the results.
Several years ago, a research study looked at people who had suffered serious adversity – cancer patients, prisoners of war, accident victims, and so forth – and survived. They found that people fell generally into three categories: those who were permanently dispirited by the event, those who got their life back to normal, and those who used the experience as a defining event that made them stronger.
This third set of people reminds me of the life of Admiral Jim Stockdale. During the height of the Vietnam War, Stockdale was held prisoner and tortured over twenty times over a period of eight years from 1965-1973. He instituted rules that would help people to deal with torture. The rules state that after a certain number of minutes, you will say certain things that give milestones to survive toward. When asked how he made it through those eight years, Stockdale insists that, “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be!”
The third set of people never had a goal merely to survive but to persevere to the end. In the end, use whatever is before you as an opportunity to remake you great. This same principle holds true when it comes to crossing one’s own culture and working among a people with another worldview, another belief system and different cultural values. Just “stick it out”!!!