I remember the day.
I remember where I was sitting.
I remember what was happening.
I remember the exact moment God seared the nations on my heart.
God wrecked my pre-established life plans at the 2010 Passion Conference in Atlanta.
As I listened to Louie Giglio and a panel of other influential Christian leaders, God pulled me another step outside of myself and opened my eyes to see more of His heart for the world than ever before.
I applied for my passport the day I came home.
Two months later, I was on a plane headed to Ecuador to share the Gospel in my first overseas experience during a spring break trip with my university’s Baptist campus ministry.
And now, six years later, God has taken me on short-term trips to six countries on four different continents for the purpose of serving His global church and joining with them to bring more worshippers to His throne.
There have been some extraordinarily awesome trips and some excruciatingly painful ones. Some that seemed to be led by the Holy Spirit and others that seemed more like we humans were producing more trouble than triumph.
Those trips have been with different organizations and different leaders and, taking what little I’ve experienced, I have set out to write the five things I would most like to tell those who have humbly taken me and others abroad for the sake of God’s name among the nations.
1. Thank you for loving the God of the nations and taking us to Him in the world.
Thank you for being mindful of the reality that “The church of God does not have a mission in the world. The God of mission has a church in the world” (Christopher Wright), and teaching us to join Him in His activity around us, whether in our neighborhoods or across the world. Your love and zeal to make Jesus’ name hallowed on earth as it is in heaven spurs us on and creates an eagerness to follow you as you follow Him.
2. Thank you for recognizing we signed up for a mission trip, not a vacation.
We’re here to serve God and people. To sightsee and explore are perks, not necessities, so thank you for stewarding our schedule to maximize the limited time we’re with the beautiful people in that area. Adventure is what you make it and we can always return if we want to see the sights. Thank you for focusing our hearts and attention on the kingdom and God’s glory and not just landmarks and geography.
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