Friday, October 25, 2013

Hidden Identity?

When my grown daughters moved to California my heart ached a little bit. When I performed their weddings ceremonies in California, and they both married boys from California (both of whom I sincerely love and appreciate), my heart stung a little bit. When my youngest daughter bought a house in California my heart felt a little bit of pain. When my oldest daughter sat us down, in California, and told us we were going to be grandparents my heart stopped a little bit. I know my heart is going to be fine because, although there are wounds due to their being so far away, my heart is also healed and soars because they are both serving the Lord in California.

Raising godly, courageous kids into vibrant adult disciples of Jesus Christ is not for the faint of heart.

The following guest blogger is a member of our church. She is now embracing God’s mission and living on the other side of the world. A godly family, still currently serving faithfully at New Beginnings Church, cultivated her faith in many ways and raised her to become a vibrant disciple. Vibrant disciples are 100% committed to Jesus Christ and His mission. Interestingly, we have decided to keep her location and identity concealed because serving as a disciple/missionary can be hazardous on the other side of the world. If you know, or guess, who this young lady may be please refrain from identifying her on the comment section. I have asked her to regularly submit a blog post to remind us of our Faith Mission.
As someone who is 23, I’m not incredibly old. I have only completed two decades of life. I’m not full of wisdom or experience. But I do know my passions and dreams. I know what God has done in my life and how the grace of Jesus has changed me. 
At the age of 17 there were two things that began my interest and passion for taking the gospel to those who have never heard. The first was a book called, Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper.  In the book Piper talks about taking risks and taking the gospel to the unreached. The second was a conversation I had with Carol Sallee.  At church camp, in the summer of 2007, we were all reading through Philippians. Mrs. Sallee talked to me and a few other girls about Paul’s missionary journeys and the passion he had for the gospel. At this same camp I listened to two missionaries talk about their experiences overseas. I became emotional thinking about the privilege of getting to be apart of something so significant. I knew from that moment on that I wanted this same vision and passion for the gospel in my own life. 

So there I was, pretty confident that my life purpose was to be overseas. I made the mistake of allowing my vision to take me out of reality and what my purpose as a believer in America looked like. I was putting my hope in future plans that really had no guarantee of coming to fruition. However, a couple years after these thoughts and ideas of going overseas began stirring in my heart and mind, I began to gain a conviction for sharing the gospel with my friends who didn’t know Jesus. This was something completely new for me. I had no idea how I was supposed to go about sharing the good news of Jesus with someone. I knew how to pray, so I prayed. I began to see my friends who didn’t know Jesus show interest in spiritual things. Soon, doors to spiritual conversations opened! I got to share the gospel with friends in high school and college. It all began with prayer - with the power of God. Nothing about what I was doing was my work. The Lord made it evident to me that His sovereignty overruled any work or plans I had.
After I learned how to share the gospel in high school and college, I quickly began to find joy in sharing Christ’s truths with others. It became a natural part of my life to talk about Jesus. Some people were receptive, but others weren’t. Time after time God allowed me to encounter people who were without hope and in need of Jesus’ love. This experience of learning to talk about Jesus was life altering. I began to see that the lost are everywhere, not just in Afghanistan, Indian or China. The lost are all around me. They were my friends! However, I still had this tug in my heart to go to the very unreached places in the world. 

Paul’s words in Romans gripped my heart and grew my desire into a deep passion for taking the gospel to the unreached, “…I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written ‘Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.’” Romans 15:20-21. I had a desire to do this, so I did! I spent 6 weeks in India during summer break before my last year of college. While I was there I was impacted by the darkness of the country and the surprising openness to the gospel. After spending 6 weeks in India I began to pray for wisdom and discernment in choosing a job after college. I pursued opportunities to go to the Middle East and to go to India. Along with these options, I always wanted to keep my mind open to working in America. As my senior year progressed I got an opportunity to spend 3 years in India, and the Middle East option was fizzling. Jobs in America were limited considering I was getting a degree in Sociology. As I considered my options it became clear to me that India would be a great decision! I was excited about moving to India and the ministry that would be sending me. So I said yes! I began the process of moving overseas, which included lots of shots, raising prayer and financial support, and spiritual preparation. About a month after I graduated college I moved to India and have loved the time I have spent there. I’ve been in India over a year now and have come from a place of belief that God needs me in order to reach India to knowing that God is powerful enough to use other means besides me to reach the unreached. I know now that the Lord doesn’t need me, He works according to his own plan. However, I have been given the most incredible opportunity to make His name known in one of the most unreached countries in the world. For that reason, I am grateful to living where I am living and play a part in God’s plan for reaching the nations.
Raising godly, courageous kids into vibrant adult disciples of Jesus Christ is not for the faint of heart.

May we never forget that “Family Ministry is the process of intentionally and persistently realigning New Beginnings Church’s proclamation and practices so that parents are knowledgeable, trained, engaged, and held accountable as the primary persons responsible for the discipleship of their children.”

For just over 2 years now, New Beginnings Church has intentionally begun a process of realigning our congregation’s proclamation and practices so that parents—especially fathers—are acknowledged, trained, and held accountable as persons primarily responsible for their children’s discipleship. It is our prayer that you can raise your kids to embrace a vibrant growing faith in Jesus Christ that makes a difference in the world

There is no holier, higher, and important responsibility for a parent.

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