So I'm pretty excited about the fact that I get to be the first one that posts on this forum! I've been thinking about a plethora of things tonight and I decided to just suck it up and read the Bible and try to get something out of it. So I opened my Bible and tried to find verses and stories that would inspire me but after some time of desperate page-flipping, I gave up. I ended up here and decided to share something that I shared with the missions team a few years ago.
You and I are all in different shoes right now. I mean, we're all common in the sense that we're all going to missions together, but we all have different backgrounds and reasons for going, as well as personal struggles. Sometimes, life is great and things go really well. It's harder to notice God because it's easier to credit ourselves for all the success and joy that we're going through. And when times of struggle hits you unexpectedly, it's easier to turn to God and try to find some peace or answers. I found that no matter what state you may be in, you can't take a break from missions. My point is that we're all different and we're all going to face different problems and fears during our preparations and even when we go up to the reserve. But we all need to remember the two main components of missions - worship and living sacrifices.
What is missions? It's what we were called to do as Christians - to reach out to those that don't know Jesus and spread his love. We do that by worshipping God with the talents and blessings that he's given us, as well as by sacrificing yourselves so that others may get to know him better. Missions should begin and end in worship. Or else we're missing the purpose for our meetings, all the planning, and all the hard work that we put into this trip. And what is the natural outcome of missions? More worshippers! Thus, missions has to start and end with worship.
Romans 12:1 says, "And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him." Recall that story from Genesis where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son to God as a living sacrifice. When God asked, Abraham did not hesitate or think twice. He followed his instincts and just said, "Here I am". He did that because of what God's given him. He knew that God had blessed him so much that even his one and only son was worth giving up. I'm sure it wasn't easy to give him up so easily, but Abraham knew that if he gave God his best, God would only return His best for Abraham also. Follow your instincts. When you know that God is asking you to fulfill your role in this small team, simply say "Here I am" and only give your best.
A team on a mission to spread the Gospel will only succeed when they start and end with worship with all that they do, and when they are constantly offering themselves to God, to the team, and to the ones that we're reaching out to, as living sacrifices. As the leaders mentioned yesterday, it is very important that we constantly have God involved in our lives to guide us through this process of preparing for the trip. Before we start organizing the VBS and the worship dances and the cultural night, we need to remember why we're doing this and if you haven't done so, need to begin "missions" today by worship.
Anyhow, I realize that I didn't properly introduce myself on Saturday, so I'll do that here! I'm the guy who wore banana shorts at the meeting. I hope that's enough to explain myself to you. So, for those of you that don't know me, my name's Roh and I've been a part of this missions team for...a long time (as long as Karen has been a part of it!). It's my privilege that I get to join the team, although I'm a couple weeks late, so thanks for letting me be a part of this. I'm going to be helping out with admin and potentially doing the slow dance (which scares me to death) with Denise and others. I'm looking forward to going up to the reserve with this year's team!
I hope you guys have a great week and keep up with your devos! Karen and Crystal are going to be really scary if you don't do them so...If you knew Karen, you'd just do the devos.
Will post again tomorrow!