|Mary served as the media person for the Luzon nanny teams.|
· Has this summer changed your understanding or view of God as father?
This has actually been a really big theme of my summer, since I worked with the nanny teams. I have been really struck by how much children LOVE to be loved, how they delight to be delighted in. How sweet it is that our Father God delights in us, delights to call us children. This summer has renewed my joy in being able to run to the Father as His daughter. At the same time, God has also taught me to delight in His discipline. It is a good and necessary part of growth, and God's character is such that He cannot help but grow us. In watching babies and children develop and grow over the past two months, I have realized how important it is for us as Christians to grow into maturity. Discipline is humbling and uncomfortable, but it is evidence of our sonship.
· How has your involvement in Nehemiah Teams/P52 changed your view on missions?
Doing good does not relieve us of the responsibility of preaching the Gospel. I'm not a missionary unless I'm doing that! It doesn't happen by accident.
Spending the summer with 3 different teams has also shown me how different missions may look from place to place. It has shown me the importance of a biblical foundation for any ministry, that at its core every mission must be based in Scriptural truth and a desire to see people come to salvation in Christ. The point is not to heal someone's body so that they live longer before dying and going to Hell, to put it bluntly - the point is to tend to people's physical needs while sharing Christ with them at every opportunity, that He will bring the dead heart to life.
· In what ways did God surprise you this summer?
This sounds silly, but I was surprised at what a huge role prayer played in my roles on teams this summer. I thought my media position would be the big contribution - photography and writing, telling the stories. And while I spent a lot of time on those things, God showed me that I should do those things with the purpose of better equipping people at home to pray. At each children's home there were problems I didn't have answers to and issues that I couldn't help with, since I wasn't there full time. But always, always I could pray. I truly believe that the best hours of the whole summer were those I spent in prayer for the other teams, for the people who run the ministries, and for the children. God hears and uses every prayer - I just didn't expect that He would use it to teach ME how to pray, too. Sometimes we don't realize how much we have to learn until we are in the middle of learning it.
· Why should people sign up for Nehemiah Teams/P52?
Short-term missions will not reach the world, it's true. But God can and DOES do big things in 52 days. As a college student, it's probably not feasible to pack up and go live in another country long-term, but you do have a summer. Give God your summer (since every day is from Him and doesn't belong to us, anyway!) and see how He can use it. NT/P52 gives you a taste of missions experience, ignites a fire for the nations, and may be something God uses to reveal more of His plan for your life and how you fit into His grand kingdom plan.