I recently read a book Escape from Ephesus by Lance Webb. A short-term missionary team member had brought it along with an assortment of other book for us to read. I didn’t read it immediately because I thought it was one of the Christian romantic-type novels. Follow the link to a picture of the cover and you’ll probably agree. However, it was a very encouraging and challenging piece of historical fiction based on the life of Onesimus, the slave mentioned in Paul’s letter to Philemon. One of the interesting aspects of the book was Webb’s description of First Century Christian koinonia, which can be translated as community or fellowship, but has a much more intimate meaning than I feel these two English words have today.
It made me think of our life here in the Dominican Republic and the ways that Melissa, Kate, Michael, and I experience Christian koinonia in our daily life. God has chosen to provide for our needs through the support of our home church and other friends and family. We are dependent on this koinonia for our monthly needs. We are so grateful for the support we receive, and know that it comes from people being obedient to God which allows us to follow through with the work he has for us to do.
Secondly, we experience koinonia with our short-term mission teams. I don’t feel I can fully express how wonderful it is to continuously meet Christians from around the country (and world), there is an instant connection from the moment we pick people up from the airport for the first time. Melissa had an interesting observation with our last team, that we have no idea who the short-term team members are in their own social and work environments, they could be the janitor or the CEO for all we know, but when they are here working alongside us, we are all in koinonia, working together to share God’s love.
Through this book, I’ve been challenged to further develop this koinonia in my life.