I am so blessed to be able to share my heart tonight in this update. We had an incredible day of ministry that Phillip will describe more in his update (to know when it is updated, keep watching this blog). However, I want to talk about something The Lord confirmed in me today.
For years I have held the untested conviction that giving your children opportunities to see the world on the mission field would break the cycle of entitlement and apathy towards Christ that most American children adopt as they grow up. And today this untested conviction was proven true in my view, at least through the life of one of our team members.
One of our team members is a teenage guy named Judd who has come to Central America with his family four times now. I had a conversation with him over the phone before the trip and I could tell his level of maturity surpassed those with whom I am accustomed to working. During our conversation he was very confident (in a good way) about the kind of work we would be doing and how the people would respond.
Today, we worshipped with a small congregation in a church building that was just four cinder block walls with no roof. Then, in the afternoon we went out, inviting people to come back to the church that evening to hear a message from one of our team members. All in all, about 45 Dominicans attended the service.
Now, in America we would say, “We’ve got a lot of people who have come to hear a good message. Let’s let the pastor speak.” However, if we had adopted that attitude tonight, our desire for professionalism would have quenched how the Holy Spirit was going to move. As Judd got up to speak, you could tell that this was not his first attempt. You could also tell that he had not taken this opportunity casually, but had prepared to speak with strategy and intentionality.
During the next 20 minutes or so, the Dominicans heard a message of God’s love and purpose translated into hope for them that was present at that very moment. It didn’t matter that he was speaking through a translator or that he was in front of a large crowd of unknown people. Nor did it matter that most teenage guys wouldn’t have the desire or the confidence in God’s Word to stand and speak in a foreign country. The only thing that mattered to Judd was that these people needed to hear the message God had given him to say.
Please don’t minimize this. I am sure that there are many factors involved in Judd’s spiritual development. But we all know the decisive factor in anyone’s spiritual growth: commitment. But where does Judd’s commitment come from?
Well, that’s where you’re going to hear my evaluation. I believe that Judd has grown and developed into the young man he is today because his mother (as I overheard her sharing) made a commitment to take Judd and his little sister on short term mission trips. The influences and mentors that have come into Judd’s life through these experiences gave him a perspective on the world and an understanding of God’s character and purpose that have broken him out of the run-of-the-mill teenage culture in America.
I am thankful that God has shown me this and I can’t wait to implement it in my own family. I also can’t wait for you to meet Judd. He is a living example of why I believe what I believe.
Thank you so much for your prayers today! The Gospel is going forth and God will bring the growth. His Word cannot return void!