Tag Archives: Missions

From Perspectives to the Mission Field

12 Jul

Blog post by Laura P., Team India 2012

My journey to Journey 117 started when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  However, to make a long story short, I’ll fast forward years later when I was sitting in my college bible study during my first year of nursing school, hearing a friend talk about the class Perspectives that she was taking.  Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a course all about Christian missions and our place in God’s purpose for the world.  It sounded fascinating, and I knew that I desired to learn more about God’s purpose and His path for me in missions.  God’s timing was not for me to take the course that spring but to wait another year and take it in Spring 2010.  I am confident that it was God’s timing, because that is when I met Emily Hilburn (Mobilization Coordinator for Journey117).

Laura (left) and Emily (right)

Emily and I were assigned to the same table. Too often, we found ourselves the only two laughing out loud at many of the speakers’ jokes.  We got to know each other throughout the semester and at the end of the course, we were both interested in helping the coordinating team the next year.  Little did we both know, God planned on us coordinating the class together!  So there we were, on a plane to Colorado for training!  Our friendship only grew from there, and we discovered that we are great travel buddies!  We had a fun and successful year coordinating Perspectives together and loved seeing the growth not only in our students but also in our own lives.  During that time, I got to see Emily go through the process of connecting with Journey 117 and through lots of prayer and seeking God, she took her dream job!  What a blessing!

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It Started with a Broken Heart

11 Jul
Blog post by Mandy M., Team India 2012
My journey to this missions trip, honestly, started from a broken heart.  In the fall of 2010, I was happily engaged and busy planning a wedding to a man I was truly in love with.  I felt confident of the path I was on and content with where my life was heading.  One month before the wedding, however, my fiancé abruptly called it off and my world went into a painful tailspin.  I spent the next year grieving the loss of that relationship. . . and the dreams I thought would come true.  I relied heavily on my faith, family and friends to get through those first few months.
It was during that time that I was lead to Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” It became my prayer for the next year.  I prayed for the favor of God, to be boldly used and that He would spring something new up in my life.  I knew that since my life took such a dramatic turn, He must have very different plans for me and there was a great sense of adventure in that. I also had a burden to seriously started praying for a missions opportunity.  I have felt, for many years, the tug to pursue oversees missions but it wasn’t until the unfolding events of the last two years that I began to earnestly seek a way to serve Him in this capacity.  My desire to be near Him, to serve Him even more, was growing deeper and deeper.  My broken heart was healing and I was seeing the new adventures He was bringing my way.
I have always had a heart for children.  When this opportunity to serve with Journey117 opened up early this year I knew it was a great fit and felt so blessed to be able to serve!  I cannot wait to see how He uses all of us next month and know that this is only the beginning of something even greater in store.  We serve such an awesome God.  He takes you places you sometimes least expect and the road is often extremely bumpy.  But how He loves us!  I simply want to world to know this!  I am truly thankful for this opportunity.
Mandy resides in South Dakota and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team India. 

My Friend, Manuel

4 Jul

Blog post by Anna R., Team India 2012

I was around 8 years old when I realized not everyone lived surrounded by a large family and loving parents. I met a little boy around my age who didn’t have a mommy. His dad brought him and his older sister to live with some extended family in the small town in Mexico where we lived at the time. His dad had to work in the city and was not able to care for them so they stayed with family and went to school in town. It was a very foreign concept for me. I could not imagine not having my mom make flour tortillas for me, make large breakfasts of my favorite foods on Saturday mornings, have my clothes laid out for me on a school day, or not being there when I had a nightmare or was feeling sick.

I became very good friends with Manuel all through elementary school. He was a normal kid; we had fun at recess and he integrated to the town with ease but even at that early age I could see in his eyes a somewhat hidden sadness, which I always attributed to that fact that he would never see his mom again. Now that I’m older, I appreciate the many other things parents do and provide to their children: teaching by example, nurture, protection, unconditional love etc. and while preparing for this trip, I dearly remember my good friend Manuel.

I heard about Journey 117 at one of my “Dinner Club” outings. I, along with a group of coworkers, get together around once a month to go to dinner at a new (non-chain) restaurant. We try different and ethnic foods and in conversation, I mentioned that I would love to go on a short-term missionary trip. Diane said her daughter has gone on several trips and she forwarded me some info regarding her daughter’s trip last year with Journey 117.  Once I read about the organization’s mission, the hardest part was deciding which country to serve in.

I’m anxiously waiting for my India trip. I can’t wait to learn and experience a more direct way of serving the orphan and the widow. I have a heart to serve others especially through church programs with children and youth but this will be a whole new level of service. I am exited about what I can do to help some of these children and share the love and care that I am so blessed to have. Most of all, I am ready to learn from them and draw from their strength and courage.

Anna resides in Wisconsin and will be serving with Journey117 in July on Team India. 

I Knew I had to do Something

18 Jun

Blog post by Caroline M., Team Ethiopia 2012

Over time God has made it clear to me that I need to do something with my desire for children. I knew he called me to care for children but I didn’t know that he was going to lead me towards orphans. I never thought of orphans or missions until Pastor Mike talked to me at our meeting for my baptism. One of the first things he asked me was if I enjoyed children. I lit up. “Of course, I love children.” Then he asked me if I have ever considered missions. I didn’t understand the relationship between the two nor did I think I would go on a mission trip. I thought, “Oh, that would be nice but it probably will never happen in my life.”

Growing up I never knew a lot about missions. It wasn’t until recently that I began to understand what it was. Even then, I didn’t think I had what it takes to do it. I always pictured people who were very put together doing this sort of thing. To me, it was the super spiritual people that spoke in church that went on mission trips. You know the people that get up to speak and inspire everyone to shout hallelujah. I am definitely not that person.

The next time that the subject of orphans came up was at Orphan Sunday.  Being at that service really opened my eyes and changed my heart.  After that I knew that I had to do something. This trip is the next step for me to further my relationship with Christ. He is going to use this trip to grip my heart and draw me even closer to him. Closer than I have ever been in my entire life. I am excited for this life changing opportunity. My prayer is that I may be a model of a woman who loves the Lord and that God will use me to minister to these beautiful children. I want to show them hope in Christ.

Caroline resides in Pennsylvania and will be serving with Journey117 in July on the Ethiopia team.