A Heart for the Nations
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
I appreciate when someone is direct with me. It may not be the most comfortable thing to hear or exactly the timing when I want to hear it, but I genuinely appreciate no “sugarcoating.”
In Matthew 28, the Lord is very direct. Therefore Go. While that verse may not be what I want to hear at the moment (because it’s convicting), I do appreciate the fact that He’s very clear with what He’s asking me to do.
My response? Go. What were the results? Heart changing, life transformations.
This summer, I had the opportunity to go on 3 very different trips, in 3 different countries, serving with 3 different sets of people, all with ONE purpose…to share the Good News.
Southeast Asia was first on the agenda this summer. After 30+ hours in an airport or on a plane, we finally arrived. It’s one of those moments you look at your surroundings and say “Wow, I’m in ASIA!” The smell, sights, and sounds are all different. It’s breathtaking (only not in the literal sense). You’re quickly reminded of just how big of a God we serve. He created each and every one of the people we came in contact with and He wants a personal relationship with them just as much as He does with me.
We had the chance to go to one of the tallest buildings in the area where we were staying and pray over the city below us. It was overwhelming at first to think of all the people below that had possibly never even heard the name of Jesus. But it also gave us the sense of urgency to be bold and share the Good News of Jesus Christ every opportunity we were given.
Every night we were able to meet up with friends we had made during the week. Most were University students that wanted to practice their English. We would have conversations with them learning more about their culture, what they were passionate about, and what they believed. In return, we would tell them about what we were passionate about and getting to share one of the greatest gifts ever…the love of Christ.
After returning from SE Asia, I had a day to rest then headed out to Texas with 60 middle schoolers and 15 adults for Mission Arlington. We were split into 6 different site groups covering several apartment complexes in the Dallas metroplex area. The middle school students led backyard Bible clubs called Rainbow Express in the mornings and afternoons at different apartment complexes. They were in charge of telling Bible stories, crafts, games, songs and sharing their testimonies. It was so encouraging to see students at such young ages taking on leadership roles, being bold to tell their story of how God has worked in their lives, and most of all…sharing the Good News with each child that was present. God is doing some big things in the lives of our middle schoolers, and these trips are helping cultivate a heart for the nations in so many of those students.
Last on the summer trips was Canada. Let me just preface with this…I love Canada. This would be my 4th time to serve in Toronto alongside our partners Matt & Arrica Hess. I love the work that’s happening in the Greater Toronto Area and each year the Lord just puts it on my heart to serve there. The Lord is working in Toronto and it was an honor to join Him. We had the opportunity to host a free sports camp to the community of Pickering with around 100 kids registered and ready for a week full of fun. Our team of 31 did a phenomenal job of leading small groups (consisting from Pre-K all the way up to 6th grade), leading relay races, soccer, basketball, volleyball, backyard games and more. Each day we learned a new story from the Bible and were able to share our testimonies with our small groups. We saw 6 kids give their life to the Lord! SIX!! How incredible is that?! One little boy named Shane (from my small group) couldn’t help but smile after telling me about the biggest decision he’s ever made!
In the afternoons we would go door-to-door in the community either putting out flyers to inform the neighborhood about Fellowship Pickering, telling about an upcoming Block Party or asking how we could be praying specifically for them. While knocking door-to-door can really be out of my comfort zone, it was in those times that I felt the Lord stretching me and giving me boldness to not shy away from the Gospel. It is moments like that when I’m grateful the Lord doesn’t allow me to do only what I feel comfortable doing.
This summer I was reminded of Romans 10:14, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
I will be forever grateful that the Lord allows me to be a vessel for Him; that He gave me a heart for the nations, a means to GO, and a desire to know Him and make Him known.