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Thursday, March 10, 2005

A wonderful story of a woman who believes God is sending her to Hong Kong as a missionary. No agency will take her, so she goes on her own. She ends up opening a boys club in the walled city, where police will only go if absolutely necessary. It is beyond dirty, and almost everyone does opium and is part of a dangerous gang. But God is gracious and uses her. Pullinger learns about the power of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. Through intense praying and fasting and worship, she helps bring many opium addicts back to normal life. God is the only reason her story is possible, and it is very encouraging to read this book and believe that our God is more than able.

It is interesting to think about this style of ministry. Pullinger has immense amounts of energy and calls those who work with her to also have energy to do many things and be very involved with those coming from hard, dangerous lifestyles. Sometimes organizations or ministries are started through the influence of one person who is charismatic (in the sense that people are willing to follow them and believe them), and brimming over with life - in one sense or another. There is a danger in these leaders not preparing for others to take their place or to take over small pieces of the ministry. Wisdom seems to call for an exit plan - meaning that there is preparation for others to be able to take over the organization or ministry. CEOs have to do this too -- if the company only works because they are present, it won't last when they have to leave. In terms of ministry specifically, it should be God's work and not just the work of a person.

All those thoughts are not to say that Pullinger's ministry and life work are not useful, but it raises questions for me of how people are called differently, and what God uses individuals for. Some people are created to be leaders with charisma and excitement and to create ministries or organizations that are very successful. Some are created to build networks and connect those who are already doing work. Some are created to do the simple, day-to-day tasks that God uses to bring glory to Himself and to draw individuals and communities closer to Himself. Who were you created to be?

Title:Chasing the Dragon
Author: Jackie Pullinger
Date published:1982
Genre: Autobiography
Number of pages: 238


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