How has your involvement in Nehemiah Teams changed your view on missions?
Involvement in NT has changed my view on missions by opening my perspective to the bigger picture. Since we are working with full-time workers, it takes away the short term feel and replaces it with the grander scale of a 10 or 15 year mission. This definitely is raising questions inside of me and has/is still convicting me about doing more than a few short terms. I had this mentality that if I just agree to go on a short term per year and continue to live the rest of my life the other 52 weeks then that will be suffice. But recognizing that short-termers will never reach the entire world really brings the reality of the Great Commission back into perspective.
How did knowing people at home were praying for you affect your performance/determination to finish the race strong?There have been several days where God has just given it to me…physically, emotionally, spiritually I just always felt like I had to keep picking myself back up. While that was happening, my fleshly body kind of forgot about those praying. It wasn't I would open my bag up and start to read the encouragement letters people wrote me. In every single one of them, multiple times it would say, "I'm praying for you." That one sentence is what helped me wake up in the morning, looking for any open door to share. You can definitely feel prayers even from 12,000 miles away. Knowing that there's an entire body of people praying for you not only encourages you so that you can finish the race but also encourages you so that you can complete the task that the good Lord has given us all.
In what ways did God surprise you this summer?There isn't any particular way that God has surprised me this summer per say, but He definitely has kept me on my toes. As I was preparing for this trip, I read through the Gospels and prepared my heart for sharing the story of Jesus. Now don't get me wrong, we're definitely sharing about Jesus, but we have been using OT stories to transition in. Time and time again these people have never heard about Noah or Moses or Adam and Eve! All these stories are both in the Bible and in the AQ. God has definitely pushed us physically, emotionally, and spiritually in every which direction. Whether it would be experiencing resistance from our translator or impossible terrain or outrageous thunderstorms, He's never ceased in testing our faith. One thing that we repeat to ourselves every night is, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel." Those are words to live by. But in all seriousness, the greatest "surprise" that the Lord has opened my eyes to is the tremendous lost-ness on these islands. If the rapture happened this very second, not a soul would come off that island…no one would be missing…no one would know. The urgency of the Great Commission has been brought into perspective, now its time to fulfill our duty as Christians, that the Lord has given us.