· How has your involvement in Nehemiah Teams/P52 changed your view on missions? This trip has changed my whole view on missions. I have been on a few of short-term missions to Uganda and Thailand, but it was not until this summer that I really began to understand the sacrifice required.
I was not sure what training would be like since I had never done something like that before, but at the end of it I felt more prepared mentally, spiritually, and physically for the mission than I had ever before. My team was already one unit, we know how to react if even the unexpected happened, we knew the language, and we were ready to share our testimonies and lead Bible studies.
I felt a call to missions on my life at a young age, but it was not until this summer that I saw this as more than just an adventure and actually being willing to give up all my own desires and dreams to follow His plans for me. From the stories we have been reading about Jim Elliot and Lottie Moon I now realize that this means going to the really hard places where there are no Christians and being willing to sacrifice your won life for this mission. This is not an easy decision to commit to life like this, but I still feel this calling even knowing what I must give up. This both terrifies me and excites me, but I know that I can do it because of His strength and none of my own! This is how Nehemiah teams has challenged and strengthened my view on missions.
One of our memory verses this summer, Acts 20: 24 says “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me, the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” I want this to become my life verse.
· How did knowing people at home were praying for you affect your performance/determination to finish the race strong? Knowing that people were praying for me gave me so much motivation and strength. I can’t tell you how many times I got and email or message that just brightened my day and reminded me that I was not in this alone. My team members each shared how many people were praying for them and me, and it is just incredible to have that kind of strength behind us.
Missions is not just about the person who is in the other country spreading the gospel, but it is also about everyone else who made that possible. I think about the people supporting me through prayer, financially, and I think about the churches and friends who backed up the 155 students that were a part of Nehemiah teams this summer, and the churches from Rainsville that supported us and it makes me so excited. This is how the body of Christ needs to work, coming around those going out and loving and encouraging them. And seeing this in action helped me realize what we can all accomplish together. Thinking about all these people reminded me to stay strong and persevere even when it was tough. Thank you so much to everyone who was a part of that!