Category: Missions

The Discipline of Mission

Make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. – Hebrews 12:13

Our annual trip to Bathurst was good this year – we had a strong leadership team and a hardworking group of students, and I’m so proud of the things we accomplished. God showed up, and it was so great to see students grow in their faith and step out of their comfort zone to reap the rewards of taking holy risks.

In spite of all this, I think our biggest challenge is still in front of us – settling back to normal life without losing the excitement of living for God every day. Going on a mission trip can be a spiritual high, and if it’s not you might wonder whether you’re doing it wrong. But here’s the thing.

Taking a mission trip changes where you are and what you do, but it does not change who you are or what God wants from you. Sometimes the change in routine and perspective can help clarify your understanding of those big questions – who am I? What does God want from me? – but ultimately the spiritual fruit that so often comes out of these experiences is accessible through every day faithfulness.

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Looking Out

Sitting in a skyscraper on my lunch break, I can’t help but feel separated from reality, floating 45 stories above the pulse of suits, panhandlers and tourists below.

skyscrapersWe’re leaving for Bathurst tomorrow, and I’m still processing a recent trip to Mistissini QC, and honestly I can’t wait to simply spend two weeks on the ground, with people who I can pray with and talk things through with and live in the moment with.

There will be challenges, of course. There always are. But I’ve been wrestling with a Jesus who keeps disassembling the boxes I build for him, and that is never easy. I know the Holy Spirit doesn’t need an elevator to be with me up here, yet I hear that still small voice clearer when I’m closer to Earth.

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Waiting on God’s Help

For several months, Matt and I have been planning an amazing family vacation, and this week it almost came undone. Our three week trip to Nicaragua is a culmination of years of dreaming, months of saving money, countless hours spent reading hostel/hotel reviews and travel blogs and drafting itineraries, then going back to square one and repeating the whole process. We chose this Central American country because Matt has been there before on mission trips and loved it – he has always said how much he wants me to travel there and experience the culture and see some of the amazing scenery Nicaragua has to offer. We also sponsor a child who lives in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, and we felt that having the opportunity to meet her in person was one we couldn’t pass up.

This may be a once in a lifetime trip, although I hope it isn’t! In the short-term, however, we do have a very special window to both take three weeks off work, for Torre to fly nearly free of charge, and to have pulled together enough money to make the trip happen. I joked with Matt that even though Nicaragua doesn’t really have any resorts, we can tell people we’re taking an “all expenses paid” vacation – it’s just that we’re paying all the expenses as we go 🙂

My passport has a few years left on it, but Matt had to renew his passport for this trip, which he did without any hiccups. Then Tuesday afternoon we found out Torre needs a passport to travel. Now, everyone who I told this to more or less responded with, “Well, yeah.” But we just didn’t realize. Honestly, I had no questions about showing up at the airport with our tickets and our child and his birth certificate and getting on a plane, but that’s not how they do it any more. Doh.

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VBS Update

Our first week of VBS went so well thanks to all the planning, prayers and dedicated volunteers! It was so encouraging to see kids opening up over the course of the week, and we are excited to build on those relationships with the campers who are returning for week 2. Also, we are celebrating that 7 kids and 1 student leader decided to pray and follow Jesus!

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Bathurst Days 6-8

Two weeks after we arrived home, I am finally sitting down to sum up the last few days of our Bathurst mission trip.

It’s hard to describe the progress that we made over the course of the week in terms of what we did because the days sound the same on paper – wake up early, pray as a team, eat breakfast and head to the church, run VBS and connect with the kids. True, each day of VBS followed the same pattern, but what happened within each day truly built on the day before, and the whole team was inspired with the progress we saw over the course of a week. girls day

Most of the kids who started the week by testing limits and challenging our leadership finished the week proudly participating in the different stations and singing the songs we learned together. Some kids brought friends over the course of the week, so we finished with more campers than we started! One huge highlight for me was on the very last day of camp with a boy who came for the first time that day, and when the day was over he said, “This was so much fun, I wish I came all week! Are you coming back next year?” 

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