Updated: Jul 13
To get to any “great place”, you must travel. It’s a given. It is much easer to appreciate something to which we don’t have constant access. Just like the place that we easily recognize (like the Longaberger Basket) and take for granted, we also have a difficult time recognizing our mission to those whom we have everyday access to. I suppose in our minds, we just assume that we will continue to have access to those people and that time will continue to be granted,so we have a much greater level of patience. But do we have time? Do we know for a fact that there is plenty of time to tel Uncle Drew about Jesus. So maybe we wait for the “right time” but the right time may never come.
By going to Kenya there is a reality that each member of the team must face. We have a limited amount of time and there is a limited amount of influence that we are able to do which often creates a “YOLO” type mindset. We will never have a second contact with the people we meet, so we MUST tell them the Hope of Christ while it is in our power to do so.
Even though I have taken risks with people in my own circle of influence, I have also hesitated as well. In fact, I almost hesitated on this trip as well. All I knew is that there was an urgency that I couldn’t ignore every time I heard about this trip and I knew that it would be a missed opportunity if I didn’t take it. That being said, our God is Sovereign and I believe that God can and will accomplish His purposes despite our apathy or direct disobedience.
Therefore, when we are on a missions trip, we fully recognize that every person with whom we come into contact is an opportunity for someone to find Christ, from the person at the ticket counter, to the diligent worker taking money at the airport McDonald’s. Once you recognize your mission, the purpose becomes clear and every person is a part of why you’ve been called.
As we made our way through the JFK airport, it is a blessing to watch pastor Gary at work. A man whose motto of “Pray as you Go and Go as you Pray” is more than just a catchy phrase, it is a constant way of life. SO the person taking our boarding passes get asked the question, “My dear brother, how can we pray for you?” If time permits, the prayer happens immediately. In the 13 years since I’ve known Pastor Gary and done missions trips at SHBC I have never heard anyone decline an offer to receive prayer. People are hungry for something that is real and authentic. Many recognize prayer as a valid way to be blessed as a result.
Last night around what would have been 1 am in the United States a little girl began screaming at the top of her lungs. (Let me take a moment to add that the two rows surrounding our team have been very active with children ages 1-8.) For about 3 hours she would randomly scream and throw a tantrum. The first thought in my mind is “someone needs a spanking” (Sorry GenZ I’m a product of my upbringing). It became clear after multiple hours that there was definitely MORE to her outbursts than just not getting something she wanted, she was genuinely agitated and upset.Before we left a dear friend asked to pray for me and prayed specifically for the discerning of spirits. In other words, the ability to sense when the enemy may be actively present or even just oppressing an individual. As I was considering the ramifications of suggesting a spontaneous skydiving for the precious little one it hit me that I should probably stop and pray.
As I began to pray, I noticed that a couple of other team members had also begun to pray for her as well. So, for about 15-20 minutes we prayed against oppression, for peace among the other passengers and most of all that the little girl would sense a “Peace that passes understanding. Miraculously, but not surprisingly…she settled in and was peaceful the entire rest of the trip. Her body stopped it’s convulsions, the raspy screaming stopped, the fists became unclenched.
If this is a precursor of things to come it’s time to pray up and expect that God is going to continue to do amazing things in our hearts and in the hearts of those to whom we minister. Thank you so much for being willing to continue to partner with us in those prayers, because as the scriptures remind, “The prayer of a righteous man (and woman) avails much” and is both “powerful and effective.”