by Jan Cox
As you are reading this I will have started my first few days of camp in Poland. This is my third trip with International Messengers to an English Family Camp.
Jesus says we can’t become a disciple if we are tied to anyone – we must be His alone.
In order to spread the Good News as a disciple I had to leave behind the NORMAL and RELIABLE. Jesus has to be responsible for me and I have to rely on Him alone..
Oswald Chambers says:
“The secret of the missionary is – I am HIS, and He is carrying out His entreprises through me. Be Entirely His.”
A COUPLE OF STORIES:
The summer of 2010 placed me in new hurdle. I had to fly the first leg of the journey alone – no one else was coming from Eastern Canada. I had never travelled alone. I had never even had dined in a restaurant alone. Once again God was there. It was actually fun! Except for the 9 hour wait at Heathrow Airport – God kept me company and I became HIS.
But I was so tired… So tired and needing to see a friendly face. When I saw the first 2 orange IM shirts (and they were bright orange) – I embraced this startled couple. I was so excited to see them after such a long wait. Tom and Deb are a very quiet reserved couple – If you know me you will how excited I can get. Tom told me later that he wondered what on earth he had been led into. This was his first trip as a missionary. Even after that startled beginning, Tom, Deb and I became good friends as we grew to know each other and our passion for Christ grew us closer together. Tom teased me incessantly about my energy and jumping about.
A miracle. Pastor Cezary lives in Gorzow and our camp was 5 hours away by car in Karpatcz. Cezary had an 18 year old car in which he travelled with Ewa and three children. It was long past its “last legs”. He was told by the garage not to take it on long trips. Miraculously he drove to camp and back without a problem. We did pray over that car before we left camp and headed for Gorzow. IM fundraised this past year for a van in which Cezary could take kids to camp, pick them up for after school meetings and drive to summer camps as well. Now he drives a 9-person van and is grateful to all who contributed.
Mission Trips like IM impact three sets of people
1. The national IM staff
The pastor and his family are encouraged by our participation. Without English speakers these camps would not take place. Family camps give an opening to people who would not necessarily attend a Protestant church and it gives them a chance to know a personal Jesus. It gives the pastor an opening into their lives as he continues to build these relationships after we have left.
2 The campers
For the unbelievers it may be the first time they have held a Bible;
They may discover that God can speak to them without a priest as mediator; One camper said: “This is the first time I have ever been with a group of people who could talk to God as you do.”
Believers are encouraged through fellowship with the North American church – knowing we care and love them.
Campers said they felt unconditionally loved. That’s why they have returned each year. And this is true of all IM camps.
3. Our team members
Most feel inadequate for the task but when they say “yes” to God, they discover His enabling power. They go back home and have courage to say “yes” to other assignments He gives
Many have to raise financial support in order to go. Those who say “yes” inevitably are overwhelmed with God’s ability to provide.
A trip such as this can stretch us to the max – physical weariness, cross-cultural challenges, working with differing personalities. It is a perfect time to learn true servant hood and relying on God through all times. (Philippians 2)
When we go out of our comfort zones, we must rely on God. So instead of depending on our own abilities and strengths we rest in Him to make us more than we are. We are forced to live by faith. That is when we experience God in deeper and more exciting ways.
When doing something you really love to do, we come alive – it becomes a Holy Time and that is how I feel when I am on these trips. Wrapped in God’s love the whole time.
What makes your Holy Time? It can be anything that you love to do. I love teaching Sunday School, singing with actions, dancing, painting and writing. I think I can even say I love talking to a group.
When we listen to God – we can hear what He is saying.
Where is your heart? When we focus on God we feel a purity of heart. Things become less about us and instead who we are focused on – God. Being HIS.
“Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone” Oswald Chambers
Missions is simply being touched by people and meeting their needs.
You don’t have to go out of the country to do ministry.
When you give, you get back so much more.
Tell you a little bit more next week.
Lord help us all to step out of our comfort zones, to attempt to rely on You, alone. Little steps can lead to bigger steps. Help us. Remind us that You are beside us always. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
My Gratitude List continues:
- a helpful and faithful husband
- restful boat ride
- chance meeting with an old friend
- chance meeting with another old friend
- lunch with a friend
- hugs and prayers with another friend
- lambs running in the field
- fresh produce from a local farmer
- delicious salad, sautéed garlic tops
- wonderful friends at Bible study
Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.