One of the many ways the global pandemic has impacted all our lives, and revealed how interconnected we are, is how sheltering in place and physical distancing has made us feel more lonely and less connected. In many ways there is a sense of common suffering - that every one of us on the planet is dealing with the same challenge - that binds us together. But it is a common suffering in aloneness and that is a uniquely difficult challenge in our human history.
So what does it mean to be “together?”
Getting and giving hugs is wonderful. Being able to sit in a crowded theater for a new release is great. And sitting among friends and family in the backyard for a BBQ is fantastic. But this does not mean that we are truly together. We’re close in proximity, yes. Together, not necessarily.
If it is not mere proximity that defines “togetherness” then what does?
Being together with another person, a group of people, or even a nation means that there is something you hold in common that binds you together that is bigger than you - something shared that transcends each of the individuals, the group, or nation. For those who follow Jesus, that which binds us is a person and the Way he has shown us (and shows us every day). And like the challenges we face now as a global community, this togetherness is in suffering, hope, and the overcoming. Jesus leads us all in the midst of it all, and he draws us together in him in it all. Whether you are an Extollo donor, volunteer, or staff in the US or a student, staff, or alumni in Haiti, we are bound together in Christ’s suffering, Christ’s hope, and Christ’s overcoming in the mission of Extollo.
We’ve named our 2020 year-end campaign “Together” for this reason. All of us are a part of Extollo’s mission in Haiti. We are drawn together for the same purpose, the same vision, the same hope. And all of this is centered in Jesus. That is what transcends each of us and what binds us together. We are bound together in Jesus, called to join him, and each other, in this work - Together.