When I headed overseas, I was drowning in cardboard boxes, spreadsheets of to-do’s, and fundraising meetings. So many, I was dreaming about it. Sometimes my ability to string two words together in a sentence was severely tested. I can’t answer any more questions, make any more lists, get one more shot, take one more ugly passport photo, remember one more word in a language I don’t use yet, or smile politely at one more person.
The chaos of the journey overseas has an ability to bring that whole verse to a new level, where “we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).
So to kick off 2019, we’re throwing an infographic at you for you to print out. (New Year, new infographic, that’s what we always say.) We hope it will offer you words when there are none.
It’s been a killer first year here at Go. Serve. Love. We are passionately committed to equipping you to go there, serve him, and love them in Jesus’ name.
Where could God take you in 2019?
And as C.S. Lewis has written, Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods.
All of us encounter those days where we’re thinking, if he throws his socks beside the hamper one more time, I am going to tell him exactly where he should put them. Or, Honey, I get hormones. But does PMS really last all month?
“Should My Spouse Go Through Language Training if Not Headed into Formal Ministry?”
Someone asked my husband and I recently if they should both be enrolled in language school. Our answer? Unquestionably. Both spouses will be interacting with the culture–and both need to be mobile within that culture. Conversely, whoever doesn’t have language or cultural training will be handicapped at whatever level caps their interaction–not just for everyday life, but for ministry capacity. Imagine a person coming to your passport country without speaking your language. They’re reduced to functioning even less than the hearing impaired (who have sign language); they’re on the outside looking in, utterly isolated from anyone by their inability to communicate.
One of the biggest stresses on my engagement wasn’t really the normal stuff–the wedding planning or whatnot. It was a phrase I’d rerun over in my head a hundred times: I don’t feel called overseas. Evangelism is not my gift. My husband-to-be surpassed the one I’d been looking for so many times over. And it really did seem God was leading us to marriage.
But was he?
Was I…selling out? I’d been headed in an overseas direction for years. What was I missing?
Ever had a friend whose passion occasionally outpaced his good judgment? Maybe you’re like, Dude. I love your heart. But you’re killing me.
You can see where I might be going with this. I’ve heard someone casually remark that one of the larger obstacles to your generation going overseas might actually be your parents. As possibly one of the most protected, safety-conscious generations in history, the struggle is real.
Jeff Boesel, Director of Mobilization for One Challenge, shares his story today.
I sat there, phone in hand, gazing out the massive, slanting windows of my control tower.
If you’ve ever stood in the middle of African worship, it’s…well, it’s pretty hard to stand still.
Gotta admit. At a refugee center staff retreat, I started as a mild observer. I marveled at the literal full-bodied movement and vocalization: music that took over my heart, my body. I was, um, really dancing (don’t necessarily try to picture it…) to worship for the first time. Moisture leaked from the corners of my eyes. Perhaps you can see what I’m talking about:
After a rousing snippet of this kind of worship in staff devotions the week before, I’d told the teachers, this is just a sliver of what the African church offers the world. Every culture has its own strengths, its own vibrant display of the image of God.