Dear friends and future Goers,
It’s crazy to write this final blog for you. When I wrote my first blog, I couldn’t begin to imagine the type of growth and stretching that the next two years would hold. Coming to the end of my two years, I’m feeling grateful for the many lessons that came from being stretched. I’m excited to share a few, and I hope they are encouraging as you set out on your own journey with God.
- Be open to where God wants you to go, whether that’s overseas or in the U.S. Never in my life did I ever think I was going to do ministry among unreached people groups in Phoenix, Arizona. Initially when I was launching into ministry in Phoenix, I was very tempted to think I was doing something “second best” or that I was even “sitting on the sidelines” in the world of missions because I wasn’t going overseas. During that time, I had to confess to God that I had a picture in my mind of what I thought “important” missions looked like and made that an idol in my life. I had to give that to God and ask Him to shape my desires to follow Him no matter where it led me.
- Trust God with what happens next. I’ve had to learn this a lot with many different things, but especially in building relationships with unreached people. When you’re first getting to know people in your new community, it often requires a lot of initiative on your part to begin a friendship. Depending on your context, it might require you to send a text, make a phone call, ask someone to visit their home, walk around the neighborhood saying “hello” to anyone you see, or even knock on someone’s door unannounced. Those things can be scary or make you feel uncomfortable enough to think, “Maybe this isn’t a good idea.” In those times, I would encourage you to really believe God is with you and will lead you through whatever happens next whether it ends up being an epic conversation or a completely awkward moment. Both will happen, and that’s okay.
- God uses missions to work in you. Missions can put you in unique circumstances where God can stretch, challenge, and even reveal sin in your life. During different times in ministry, God showed me areas in my life where I had lots of anger and pride. Those times weren’t fun and sometimes made me wonder if I should even be in ministry. But I realized that God often uses circumstances in missions to expose lies and sin in our lives, and He begins breaking them down because He loves us. When you feel like your worst self is being uncovered during your time in missions, don’t shrink away from it or question your calling from God. Instead talk with God about what you’re feeling, share with trusted believers what you’re experiencing, and remember His Word. He loves you and wants to continue redeeming and transforming the broken parts of your life even as you serve Him. And as you experience the gospel in those parts of your life, those will become more stories that you can share with others of God working in your life.
I hope these few lessons give you some things to think about as you consider where you will go. If you want to chat more, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t be afraid to say “yes” to Jesus. He’s always worth it.