Although I’ve had this blog for more than four years, it was only about two years ago that I started writing posts of more substance, starting with some thoughts on why long term missionaries are not obsolete. In the time since then, I have really enjoyed using Gleanings from the Field as a place to process some of the things that I have seen and experienced on the mission field. But it has become more than just a personal sounding board.
As people actually started to read the blog, and as it has begun to get more exposure through Google searches, social media, and word of mouth, I have been greatly encouraged by the number of people who have given me positive feedback. It may sound odd, but I have also been encouraged by those who have given me negative feedback, disagreeing with me in the comments section. It is my hope that the posts that I write will get people thinking, spur discussion, and propel us all to a greater understanding and application of Biblical truth. Thoughtful disagreement can help stimulate better thinking, and in some cases re-thinking.
As 2011 begins, I wanted to briefly thank everyone who has enjoyed reading Gleanings from the Field. Although I am partially writing for my own benefit, a big motivation for my writing is the knowledge that people will be reading, and hopefully benefitting. I usually have in mind a range of people when I write: supporters back home, fellow missionaries in Thailand and elsewhere, pastors, teachers, missions mobilizers, and anyone who has a heart for Christ and a desire to see Him glorified in this world. It is my hope and prayer that the blog makes you think, consider, and understand God and his world more deeply.
I want Gleanings to be a tool for missions education for those on the home side. I want it to be a place for discussion and cross-pollination among missionaries facing similar issues in their work. I want it to challenge our conceptions and mis-conceptions of how God and His world work, stimulating thought and practice in a more Biblical direction. I want it to be a resource for those sharing the Gospel and discipling others, especially Thai people. I want it to be an encouragement to those who desire to see God’s kingdom come among the nations.
I love to hear from those who are reading the blog. Within the last year, I installed a new comment system so that when you comment on a post, you can request to have follow-up comments emailed to you. The old comment system didn’t have this feature, which was a big drawback to back-and-forth discussion of issues in the comments section. So, in the new year, as you read the blog and have some thoughts on a subject, whether you agree or disagree, I would encourage you to leave a comment, and interact with other commenters if you wish.
Thanks for reading. God bless and Happy New Year 2011.