Not again, Lord…
These were the words that trailed in the back of my head before the journey of committing to the World Race began.
This summer, in a radical leap of faith, I moved to California. Have I ever had thoughts of moving here? Nope. Do I even like beaches? Nope. But do I believe God called me here? Yep! I never would have known that the things that I’ve read and believed or done years ago would culminate to things I am doing now.
About seven years ago, a friend who has since dedicated his life to a long-term mission in Thailand, wrote a note on Facebook that I have forever treasured and consistently referred to:
This is what I want from life: I want to be so devoted and focused on Jesus Christ that my entire life is devoted to serving Him, glorifying Him, and promoting His kingdom. I want to be able to set aside every earthly desire and consider everything in my life to be worth nothing so that I can give up everything that I hold dear at any moment to fulfill God’s plan for me.
I intend to live every day of my life in accordance with God’s will and purpose for me and my family. This means making sacrifices and living a life that may seem “crazy” to non-believers and to some lukewarm Christians, but normal, expected and appreciated by Jesus. It means a life of many uncertainties, instability, risks, questions, and giving up of being in control. I want God to be in complete control and provide the ultimate and only certainty in life. It may be a life of many difficulties and challenges, and there may be times of having very little money and/or few friends, but it will be a truly great life filled with love, joy, contentment, gratitude, peace, and God’s blessings.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. If this is accomplished, everything else will follow step. Your ministry, love for others, and family life will be in line with God’s will and your joy will be complete. This is my main priority in life. To love and serve God with everything I have and am. If having a wife/husband will help my relationship with God and allow me to know, understand, and love Him more, then I’m all in. If it will distract me and cause me not to love God 100% and seek Him and his kingdom first, and cause me to get caught up with the things of the world and place my attention, focus, energy, and devotion into temporary, earthly things and desires that will fade in time, then I want nothing to do with marriage.”
Two years ago, I got a tattoo that said “faith is greater than fear” and that was my own encouragement to myself to not live my life in fear, but to continually step out in faith and that is how I moved to California and that is even now how the decision that I am making to do the World Race has come about. I am scared to be gone for 11 months with little communication, not knowing the diseases that I am susceptible to, and not knowing the languages (although I will try to learn them). But I believe whole-heartedly that we are placed on this earth for a mission and a purpose and that is to make the Lord known, so through whatever means He chooses to do that for me that is what I want to do. And I know that His plans are always greater than mine. I know that my plan would, of course, entail me being married, having kids and living that life, but I believe God is continually asking me to be obedient to the places He is calling me, trusting that He has work for me to do there. So in October 2019, humbly I will be partnering with Adventures in Missions to do the World Race.
Adventures in Missions mobilizes people of all generations to follow the call of Jesus through short-term mission trips around the world and at home. The World Race is an 11-month mission trip that goes to 11 different countries. The countries I will travel to are Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Benin, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The work we will do will vary, but it will consist of sharing the Gospel, evangelizing in remote areas, helping in orphanages, partnering alongside YWAM, assisting in planting churches, working with refugees and teaching English, and fighting against human trafficking that plagues different countries. My goal is to spend this time, not only working with those in need around the world but to use this journey to further discover what God would have me do with my life and call for Him. My hope is that God would stir in me a desire through the short term missions in each place a possible desire to remain long-term in one of the countries that He allows me to serve in and if not, that he gives me a greater passion and purpose in returning to America.
The purpose is not only to reach others with the truth of Jesus, but to break participants out of their comfortable spaces, and into the uncomfortable realities of God at work. Each trip puts a tremendous emphasis on prayer and discipleship of both the participants and those who come to Christ. Adventure’s short-term trips are designed to provide long-term relationship and care, through the partnership with local ministries, adding to what’s already done by local people.
I would love more than ever to sit with you face to face and share with you what’s on my heart and what the Lord is doing in my life, what I believe He will do through this and have you be a part of it.
Thank you for reading this. Thank you for being a friend-Someone I chose to ask to support me–Someone who loves me with a measure that really speaks to my heart.
Please pray for my team, my spirit, the Holy Spirit, my growth, the heart of the ministry itself, safety, protection, health, and a boldness that only comes from the Lord.
I have to raise $19,900 in support. If you feel led to support financially, please visit my donation page.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!