Skype Confessional

One of the most unexpected phenomenon we have experienced while being here in Mozambique is the surprising amount of contact we still have with friends and family back home. Although we aren’t nearly as plugged into people’s lives as we once were, and we don’t get to watch our nieces and nephews grow up, we are still graciously kept up to speed on a lot of what is happening.

One of the interesting side effects of this connection is how safe people feel venting to us, or sharing secrets. As a pastor, I was regularly entrusted with quite a few secrets and confessions over the years. However, this feels different. Regularly when talking to someone who needs to get something off from their chest they will say, “Well, I suppose it is pretty safe to talk to you since you are half way around the world…”

It’s true. We are half way around the world. And I guess that makes me your virtual missionary bartender. You can pour out your sorrows and secrets knowing I will take them to the grave…and there is very little chance I will run into anyone who cares about them.

About daveterpstra

Beggar, Abolitionist, Man of God
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2 Responses to Skype Confessional

  1. Dave,

    Do you reconsider your position on this article?

    Dave Terpstra October 26, 2009 5:00pmThis article is easily the sloppiest thinking posted on Ur (at least since my last article).

    Dave Terpstra October 26, 2009 4:29pmDoug, One day, when you die (hopefully decades from now), I will attend your virtual funeral. No really. I will totally log in and offer your family the comfort of my virtual presence. I know how much my typing will mean to them in a moment of loss. How the sound of my voice over the internet will comfort them in their grief. How my emoticons will bring a smile to their faces in the midst of tragedy.

    I have planted several churches worldwide and am planning on starting a virtual church. I was curious is you still feel this way now years later.

    Pastor Chris

  2. daveterpstra says:

    Pastor Chris,

    Thanks so much for the check-in. The quick answer to your question is that I actually feel much stronger now about my position than I did when I first wrote my snarky comment. Being overseas has taught me just how limited virtual connections can be. I still stay in touch with friends and family back home, but it doesn’t come close to a in-person connection.

    I don’t believe the planting a virtual church is the pass of wisdom. Sometimes God asks us to do things that are seemingly unwise. However, in this case, I would encourage you to be very assured of your calling before moving forward. I fear if you are wrong, you will be misleading people on what community and church are really supposed to be.

    Keep the faith,

    p.s. I’m happy to talk more via email. Feel free to drop me a line.

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