“Go everywhere. Do everything. With everyone.” This was Fred Markert’s main message this week. He came in to speak on missions. He has spent a considerable amount of time in his life involved with YWAM and now lives and works at a campus in Colorado. He told us a lot of cool stories where the only explanation is that God was working the whole time. “Even when we are faithless,” Fred said, “He remains faithful.” Fred also made it clear that God uses ordinary, every-day people. The Bible characters remind us of that. Heroes with skeletons in the closet remind us of that. We all fall short of the glory of God and he isn’t done with us yet. Fred is a strategist and he never in a million years could have woven together some of the stories that God makes happen with a snap of his fingers. We must constantly remind ourselves that we are only part of the bigger picture.
“He has always been a God of rescue and a maker of warriors for his grace. You only need to believe that you are part of something greater than you know.” -Shannon L. Alder
The trainees are continuing to grow individually as we are being challenged by God, from within ourselves, and by the people around us. When teachings or opinions go against what we believe, feathers can get ruffled. And believe me, there has been some ruffling been taking place. I believe it is a positive experience for all though. By having our ideas challenged we are given the opportunity to strengthen our weaknesses. For some it means finding our voice, speaking out against passivity and standing up for what we believe in. For some I think it means learning to seek Gods perspective on people and not be so quick to impart our own assessments onto others; it means simply humbling ourselves to allow others to lovingly, gracefully and gently hold up a mirror to our faces and walk with us when what we see might not be all that pretty. Perhaps this daily struggle to hear and to understand and to seek God’s heart is missions, as well.
Thanks to the kitchen staff the Americans got to celebrate Thanksgiving at their home away from home. One of the married couple from USA led us in worship on the morning of Thanksgiving and we sang old hymns. The holiday season is upon us and Christmas lights are going up around the oval! We hosted the Christmas Fair on Saturday and sold Christmas-themed baked goods and offered fun games for the kids. There was live music and it smelled like Christmas trees and laughter. Although bittersweet for many of the trainees, there is a certain beauty in the pain. Our hearts are saying ‘How blessed are we to have family back home to miss?’
“And oh, am I scared. It sounds like work and feels like vulnerability and it smells of getting in over my head. But it also looks like being brave enough to honour the talents my master has given me, whether I double it, triple it, or come back empty-handed. ‘At least I tried?’ I’ll sat with questioning in my voice. And I think God will call me his partner.” -Annie F. Downs.
This quote was from the book ‘Lets All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have’. This was the book that inspired me to say yes to the quiet nudging in my heart to come do a DTS. I think Missions in a sense is YWAM, sure. But I think missions is every day life. I think missions is making the choice the disciple Gods children no matter what sphere of society you’re involved in. Fred taught on the importance of following our call and if it is to missions, so be it. Be brave. Take action. But just because you aren’t involved in a Christian organisation doesn’t mean you can’t bring the Kingdom in your everyday life. Once while I was driving I pulled over in a church parking lot to make a call. On departure, I noticed a sign at the edge of the parking lot. It said “The mission field starts here.”
The Mission field is right where you are, right now.