I am at a loss of words. Wow. Did that really just happen? The last sixty days have flown by. They have without-a-doubt been the most wonderful, challenging, stretching, refining, joyful, amazing, rewarding (and the list could continue) two months.
The team: divinely placed. It was absolutely incredible seeing how He specifically put every single one of us together; each having different spiritual gifts, strengths, and weaknesses. I have grown to love each of these people so deeply and they have truly become my family. Saying goodbye was way more difficult than I imagined, but I know these are friendships and people that I will continue to walk through life with; encouraging and pointing each other closer to Him. Beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to serve alongside such wonderful souls.
The Journey: Incredible.
Hong Kong/China: the Lord’s strength was emphasized and revealed here. The bible is a gift from the Lord. We are fortunate and blessed to have access to this beautiful book. Many, many, many, many are not. My heart was broken in this country, but encouraged by seeing the Lord continue to enable His people to read and have access His word; even against one of the most powerful governments in our world. He is stronger than the most powerful army, and the bigger than the financial amount it takes to make the bibles.
India: beautiful, beautiful, beautiful children. The most joyful, loving, servant-hearted people I’ve ever met. They have nothing to call their own, but they have everything because they walk with Christ. This country was incredibly humbling. Bucket baths, six girls to three twin beds, insane heat, and yet, so much joy. The agenda for a majority of the days: sit with the Lord and love the children. After India, the Lord’s call for us to live simply makes complete since. He is so present here. Jesus plus nothing equals everything.
Uganda: we are made new. Completely. Once we belong to Him and are no longer of this world, we identify as nothing else, and nothing in the past matters. All week long we heard beautiful stories of the Lord’s redemption on people’s lives. The Lord is moving visibly through this country, and it shows. The people are hopeful, and their financial circumstances don’t define or overcome them. They are His, and He is theirs.
France: if you gain the world but don’t have Jesus, you still have nothing. Lost are the people here, and it is heartbreaking. Overall, France was probably the most difficult country for my team and I. We were attacked hardest here, but were also able to see the Lord’s love even so. He loves these people, and even when they deny His existence, they stand in awe of His creation. He still desires their hearts.
Nicaragua: joy in serving others. The church we were working with is absolutely incredible. So much joy. They give everything to others and truly love and care for others. They do so not just passively and just because they have been called to, but they find true joy and happiness in putting themselves last, serving others, and letting others see Jesus in them. Worship isn’t just with flags, trumpets, and dancing, but with lives.
After seeing five countries on four different continents, there is one constant: we are broken people, all in desperate need of Jesus. The enemy has a hold in all of these places, and here in America as well. It just looks different in every country.
We are blessed to live in this country. We don’t have watch our backs when we bow our heads to pray, and we don’t have to worry when we say His name out loud. We don’t sit in fear when we sit in a church service, and we aren’t persecuted for owning a bible. We don’t have to wonder where our next meal will come from, and we have the opportunity to attend college, own a home, or drive a car if we would like. However; we don’t let Him work; we don’t let the Spirit move like He would like or is intended to. The challenge for life here in America: let Him move. Love others. Live simply and fill yourself with only Him. Don’t take anything for granted, and remember every blessing and joyous thing in life is a gift from our God.
Although the trip has come to an end, the journey has not. We have landed and are being settled back into the sixth country: America. ‘Missions’ doesn’t mean leaving the country; rather, it’s a lifestyle. Love God, love people, and live solely to glorify Him wherever you are in this world.
Thank you to everyone who has supported, encouraged, and loved me throughout this journey. If I met you along the trip or you’ve known me all my life, words cannot express my gratitude. Thank you for all of the prayers, for every single one was heard. If it was one prayer or 60, thank you. You each have played a significant role in my journey, and many others as well. I am blessed by each of you.
God is big. God is good. God is faithful. God loves His people.
Psalm 117: Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. For he loves us with unfailing love; for the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord!