Last week we were walking the streets of Guatemala, as the Lord guided us on our missions journey. Oh how I miss the beautiful town of Antigua Guatemala already! Yet, I’m sure that we will return as we build upon the relationships that we have made and take other teams to serve. This mission’s trip was full of Aha Moments for my husband and I. From building new relationships, to growing even closer in our marriage, to witnessing the miraculous, to pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone and serving with no limits, we are changed! Each mission trip that God allows us to experience is another piece of the puzzle for our lives.
This trip was all about learning HOW to living missionally. For many of the participants this was their first mission’s trip. Many were challenged, yet we all were impacted and are excited about living missionally.
Many maybe asking, “What is living missionally?” Well it means to engage others with the gospel message and to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We do this from serving and building relationships with people wherever we go. It also means to be led by the Holy Spirit and to be open for God to work through you and in you. Living missionally involves simply loving people by caring enough to pray for them, have a conversation with them, or simply give a hug. As our team was intentional about Living Missionally together, I had several Aha Moments where God spoke clearly about some things for our lives and I want to share them with you!
- Remember to approach life and especially ministry with childlike faith! If you aren’t careful, our “life experiences” can cause us to be know it all’s. When you have a childlike faith, you approach life with innocence and openness. You are also fearless. This makes you good ground for God to do the miraculous because
Matthew 18:1-5-At that time[ the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. 3 “I assure you,” He said,“ unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes[ one child like this in My name welcomes Me.
During this missions trip we had the opportunity to visit an AIDS/HIV orphanage where all of the children were infected with the HIV virus. Although we looked different and clearly were not from there it did not stop the children from interacting with us and showing us love. I think the entire team would agree that we could learn a lot from how they loved us. They were open, they didn’t prejudge us, and they attempted to build relationships with us. Their love and humility represents Childlike Faith and we all could learn a lot just from watching a child.
2. No matter where we go and how far we travel the Lord is always with us. Now this isn’t a new revelation but it was reaffirmed and an “Aha Moment” as I traveled to Guatemala and even returned home to a state of Emergency in Maryland (which I’ll expound upon later). One thing I noticed from the moment we got off the plane is that beautiful mountains and volcanoes surround Guatemala. During our first full day in Guatemala, our team was able to hike an active volcano called Pakaya. It was the one of the most beautiful experiences of my life and God’s voice was so clear on that long yet peaceful hike. He brought to my remembrance these verses:
Jerusalem—the mountains surround her.
And the Lord surrounds His people, both now and forever. (Ps 125:2, HSCB)
For You, Lord, bless the righteous one;
You surround him with favor like a shield. (Ps 5:12, HSCB)
4. Feeling sorry for someone and doing absolutely nothing but talking about it is “pity.” However, compassion always leads to action. Upon landing back in the states, we found ourselves as a team on another mission in a city only 45 minutes from where we reside. While we were away a man by the name of Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spine injury in police custody and died. The people of Baltimore, MD are angry, hurt, and just in disbelief. My “aha moment” occurred as we watched the news and scrolled through news reports. My heart began to ache. Here I was being used missionally all over the world and a city 45 minutes near our home is in need. How could we not be a part of meeting a need? What if that were my brother, uncle, or father? How would I feel? What if this happened in my community and people were so angry they began to riot? These questions caused my team to reflect and to take action. Sometimes you simply have to ask that common question, “What would Jesus do?” I won’t get into here exactly what we were able to do but the point is we came together and worked to do something! During Jesus’s earthly ministry every time there was a need He met that need. From producing wine at a party, to healing blind eyes, to feeding crowds of thousands, to saving our souls! Jesus is the ultimate example setter when it comes to compassion! Compassion is the core and what ultimately drives us to live missionally. There are too many people in this world that need the gospel for us not too! The cost is too great and we have to continue to do our part wherever we are.
Of course I’ve experienced many more Aha Moments, but these are the most prevalent ones from the past week! I pray that they become your AHA moments as you work to live missionally daily. Be blessed!
Jennifer Lucy Tyler
PS- My husband and I will be teaching in Illinois on May 30th! Would love to see some of you there. See the flyer below for details!This conference is for young adults between the ages of 15-25 and that registration is currently taking place online at http://www.broadviewbaptist.org/.