I still deem my study abroad experience as one of the top highlights of my life. There is something so unique about dedicating a few months to a culture and people while you’re in a season of learning. My experience studying abroad in South Africa is a huge reason why I am doing what I am doing right now as a mission coach, why I am the person that I am today, and why I am sitting here writing this blog. But I don’t think the story would have been written that way if it weren’t for the wisdom and knowledge I was handed before I headed on a plane in the Spring of 2015.
Our society gets college so wrong. On its best days, it’s treated as a career stepping stone to launch young adults into the workplace. At its worse, it's treated as a type of cultural purgatory between adolescence and adulthood that we use to fend off the real world by stuffing it with as many parties and bad decisions as possible.
But what if God had a design for your time at college to be so much more than either of those things? What if He wanted to use these years to form you and prepare you to join Him in His global work in bringing redemption and salvation to the nations?
God hears us. It’s one of the most beautiful truths we rest under as Christians. And not only does he hear us, but God hears us in all times and places. Psalm 139 says He knows us when we sit down and when we rise up; He discerns our thoughts from afar and knows our words before they even leave our mouths.
Our God knows us deeply, invites us to pray, and assures us that he hears us no matter where we are or what we are doing. Those fundamental truths underlie the beauty of what it means to prayer walk.
What are your feelings about fundraising? If you’re like most people, you probably have some feelings of trepidation towards fundraising. Fundraising for ministry can be a countercultural idea, so it naturally brings up some fears and anxieties.
The heat from the sun surrounds you with a warm embrace this morning on your way to the university. Luckily it's dry season, so you don’t have to worry about the possibility of a tropical monsoon soaking your walk. This sunshine on your face is a familiar feeling, as you’re now three months into the five-month dry season, and you can’t remember the last time the temperature was below the 80s.
Sophie and her husband Matt went together as Goers to Peru soon after they were married in their first year after college. After their two years in Peru, they moved back to Northern Minnesota where Sophie is working as a realtor and art agent and Matt is a contractor. They are expecting baby #1 this year and are in the process of converting a '73 Airstream and a shipping container into Airbnb's... they can't wait to share their corner of the world with visitors!
Here's our Map Years interview with Sophie...
I remember sitting with the Lord that morning, already grouchy, already tired, and slugging through the heat to the subway station. The subway is crowded that day, and my nose is in some dude's armpit that I don't even know.
It's just one of those days for me when living overseas isn’t fun, it's not an adventure. It's just sweaty. And you think to yourself, man, what is life today? This day was one of those days. I wasn't feeling like a super missionary. I was barely feeling human.
Going on a prayer walk is a new concept to many Christians. But it’s an important practice to add to your spiritual walk (see what I did there?). The truth is that, while prayer walking isn’t directly prescribed in scripture, both walking with God and praying are. Micah 6:8 tells us to walk humbly with God.
You said yes to adventure and that’s what this place has given you. Most mornings, like today, you wake up to the weirdest and loudest bird that seems to be right outside your window. You eat a quick breakfast because the team is leaving early for their trek into the part of the jungle known as Yanesha land. You hop into the back of a truck and hang on as the driver dodges tree branches and limbs, potholes, and other cars coming down the tiny dirt road.