“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place…not knowing where he was going..”
It all started on that first Global and Urban experience long ago when Abraham and Sarah set out from Haran for the land that God would show them. Abe and Sarah did not have a compass, nor a destination. But they had a guide!
GOING with God in His mission catalyzes discipleship. One of the chief ways God shapes us through His mission is by calling us out of our comfortable lives out into unfamiliar places among new people and cultures. He brings about transformation in the goers and the receivers through relationship.
My third year in university my staff worker challenged me to go with the student team to Mexico on a Global and Urban Partnership. I did not want to go. I had local plans that made sense to me. Why would I go to Mexico? I didn’t speak Spanish, and I had never done missions work before…what could I possibly contribute?
Little did I know! God dragged me into this program NOT because I had so much to teach, but because i had so much to learn. Right away I got sick, and the whole team had to come around me and nurse me back to health. I tried to communicate, but found myself unwittingly agreeing to things — like preaching to the local woman’s society on sex! I was a missions failure.
And I loved every minute of it. Seriously! I went back three times to Mexico, and of course that was just the beginning. I am absolutely convinced that God has called us into His mission to galvanize discipleship, both ours as well as the people who receive us.
Really, when we stop to think about it, it has always been this way. “Go make disciples of all the nations” is the main way Jesus continues to make disciples of the twelve as well as reach the nations. Both Cornelius AND Peter go through a conversion (Acts 10), Cornelius to faith in Jesus, and Peter in seeing the Holy Spirit confirming the Gentiles as fellow heirs.
One thing is certain– we have to go. When I returned from Mexico many years ago I could have just met with students, shown pictures, told stories, ate food. But here’s what I did:
I gathered my friends and I said… Let’s GO!
Director of Missions
Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship
P.S. Click here for the 2014 Global and Urban Partnerships. Please note, we do not publically list Global or Urban Partnerships in certain countries for security reasons.