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Teaching – Self Talk

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What About Self-Talk!

What are some of the things that go through your mind when you are in a moment of being quiet and no one else is around, or even when you are around other people?

Are they thoughts that uplift and encourage, or are they depressing and sad? Do these thoughts speak the language of love, comfort, health and a fulfilling life, or do they speak the language of criticism, hopelessness and despair?

Do you see yourself winning in life … or struggling to the point of failure?

Where do you think these thoughts come from?

Answering these questions aren’t always easy. They challenge us to be vulnerable and transparent.

To face the issue for what it is.

For some people, these thoughts are not just holding them back and keeping them bound to a limited way of thinking, but some are being tormented in their minds. They want so badly to break free, but don’t know how.

What we believe in our hearts plays a huge part in what we think about and ultimately what we experience in our lives. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. These thoughts are reflections of what we truly believe in our hearts about ourselves.

We call this self-talk!

Now, these thoughts didn’t just come from out of nowhere. They come as a result of tragic and traumatic experiences, hurts, and disappointments and more. When life happens to us in negative ways, they leave scars, wounds, and messages on our minds and emotions. They paint ugly and not so nice pictures and images on our hearts, and unfortunately, without realizing it, we embrace them as truth.

I dealt with negative self-talk for years, and that was because I had a very low and poor image of myself due to past experiences and being “the victim.” I would say all the right things you would say as a believer around others. Saying all the right things was easy when you were in an environment that was conducive to speaking life. But did I really believe what I was saying with my mouth?

When I got quiet, that old self talk would rise up again. “You are this and you are not that. What makes you think that this is going to work? You don’t look like them. Don’t you wish you did? When are you going to stop making the same stupid decisions over and over again? You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”

These were just some of the thoughts that would rise from within my heart. I realized this was how I really saw myself. My heart was wounded deeply for so many years. Wounds that stemmed from rejection, self-hatred, fear, and on and on it went. If I had not allowed the Holy Spirit to come in and fully persuade my heart of what God’s Word says about me, my heart would still be in a mess.

But I have great news for us!

There is hope! God has provided healing and restoration for our hearts, and we don’t have to go through this process alone. Not only does our Father God know what we have been through or may be going through now, but He also knows how to rescue us from whatever it may be.

We can use our God-given authority to resist and pull down every stronghold, to cast down every imagination and every high thing that would come against us. This include the world’s opinions, our own opinions, the views of religion, and even words from our families. If these thoughts are not in line with the truth about Jesus, then we need to dismiss them. Christ is our identity. That is who we are, regardless of how we feel about it or what others say.

Since I have come to a place in my life where I am able to spend more time with the Father, I have awakened more to who He is and who I am. He has really brought me a long way in my heart and way of thinking. I can honestly say that I have not arrived in my self-talk as being completely the way it should be, but it is a long way from where it was. I rarely have moments of negative self-talk now. And I am in quiet mode more now than I have been in years.


Because I know who God truly is and that His thoughts toward me are always good and not evil. My heart is secure in His love for me. I also keep the atmosphere set on Jesus through prayer time, worship, meditating on His word, journaling, reading books, etc.

Beloved, when we understand our relationship with our Father, we become established in our hearts. However, that does not mean we won’t be hit in our minds with lies. Negative thoughts will try to assail all of us, because deception is the enemy’s only weapon against us. But we do not have to sign for it when he comes knocking. We can guard our hearts with all diligence.

Know that you HAVE, and CAN HAVE victory in your mind right now in Jesus name, amen.

I’ll talk soon! Blessings!

Written by Tonya Williams


Location – Italy

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Italy – a land rich with history, color, flavors, music, and more!

This destination may seem like a great place to take a vacation, but there is plenty to do to further the Kingdom of God in this beautiful country. The people are warm and inviting and the landscape beautiful, but centuries of religious oppression has left its mark. Our brothers and sisters need encouragement, healing, and to be told they are important and not overlooked. Loneliness, depression, and hopelessness are some things God wants to touch in the lives of the Italians, and He would love to have you partner with what He is doing there.

Besides ministering His love to individuals, small church groups, and even missionaries, you could find yourself working in a vineyard or a greenhouse to assist our hosts with their ministries.

Street ministry and prayer walking are powerful tools to bring the gospel and God’s love to Italy. You will never be the same!

Contact us for more information to get details for this life-changing adventure that awaits you in beautiful Italy!

In Motion Ministries


Tales from the Field – Peru Pt. 1

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Peru – Part 1

The Andes mountains jut out of the ground straight up into the sky, making one feel small and insignificant. These land masses are so vast, it is almost more than the eyes can behold. Our bus slowly crawled along the winding, steep roads, our mouths agape at the astounding beauty. As I looked closer, I realized those were not rocks and shrubs sitting along the roadside — but people! Their brown, weathered skin blended into the background, making them look like part of the scenery. I knew we were about to experience something extraordinary.

Cold, brisk air greeted us as we got off the bus. We were definitely at high altitude, and the thinness of the air took some getting used to! A smiling, friendly face came to greet us, and motioned for us to follow him down a dirt pathway. Walking beside small buildings made of mud, he led us to an open area that looked down across a valley. He graciously gestured for us to sit down – right there in the dirt! I quickly realized this was our stage, we would hold our village meeting here. Soon colorfully clad people with babies and bundles tied to their backs came to the open area and sat on the ground expectantly. They smiled at us shyly, never really making eye contact, and hurriedly bunched up together, looking unsure of what was going to happen.

Our missionary hosts had made arrangements with the municipality (the local government) to hold a village meeting with these people, the Quechua Indians. Our interpreter told us the people would continue to arrive, as many had to walk several hours to join us. He motioned for us to look over the valley, showing us where they lived. I strained my eyes to see the houses, and could only see what looked like trees, bushes, rocks, and reddish-brown dirt. Noticing that we were struggling to see what he was pointing out, he told us those were their huts, not bushes and rocks!

The local government had asked us to help them with an increasing problem these precious people were facing. The winter had been so cold that many of the babies and the elderly were losing their lives, as there is no heating in the houses. Our team of mostly 17 and 18-year-olds raised money to purchased warm, woven blankets of llama wool from local crafters in Cusco. We were asked to hand them out to specific people they knew were in need. Since the villagers were going to gather together to receive their blankets, we had asked if we could take this opportunity to introduce them to Jesus and His love for them.

We had prepared some skits and children’s activities, and through smiles and interpreters, we shared the gospel with the large crowd that had gathered and were sitting on the ground.  These people were so patient and willing to hear everything we said, although it took quite a bit of time. We would say a sentence in English, one interpreter would translate it into Spanish, and another interpreter would translate the Spanish into Quechuan! It was challenging to remember your train of thought by the time it was your turn to speak again!

We had a pastor on our team, and he told the parable of ‘The Good Samaritan’, sharing with them the love of Jesus. Our missionary host asked the people if they would like to know this One who already knows and loves them, and there was a surprising response. Soon many people of all ages were standing, ready to accept Christ and His love into their lives. We were told later that the culture in this tribe is such that they cannot make individual decisions. The patriarch of the family clan was touched by the love of God and wanted to know Him. When He stood up to make it known that he wanted to receive this gift of salvation, the rest of the clan stood up too. This reminded me of Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your whole household.” (NIV) We all stood in amazement as several clans came into the family of God that day.

There’s more to the story – stay tuned for my next post!

Written by Vicki Brawner

Short-term Missions Director

In Motion Ministries

Teaching – Our Source for Peace Pt. 2

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Hello everyone! Me again! In this blog I am going to conclude our series on the topic of peace. Last time I shared about how peace is defined in the dictionary as being tranquil or quiet, or without oppressive thoughts or emotions. I also began laying the foundation of how God has peace toward us and that we have peace with God.

That there is no war between God and man.

That God is not out to get us.

He is completely for us and desires to use His Word, not tragedy, to reveal His perfect will and plan for our lives. Please check out my previous post if you missed it.

Today I want to dig a little deeper into God’s Word about peace. The Lord has revealed some amazing truths to me in regard to where true peace comes from.

Let’s look at Mark 4:35-40, starting with verse 35:

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross    over to the other side.”

          36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as            He was. And other little boats were also with Him.

          37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it   was already filling.

          38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said            to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

          39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”           And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

          40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no    faith?”

So, Jesus spoke prophetically to His disciples about crossing over to the other side. He had no doubt that what He had promised them would come to pass. Then a windstorm arose in the middle of their journey, waves began to beat against their boat, and water began to fill it, causing the disciples to fear losing their lives. And here was Jesus sleeping in the stern or rear of the boat on a pillow. How was that possible?

His disciples woke Him up from His peaceful sleep and confronted Him with words of fear and doubt to ask Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Of course, He cared. Jesus cared for His disciples more than He cared for Himself and more than His disciples cared for Him. If Jesus and His disciples were never going to cross over to the other side, then the Lord never would have told them that. No matter what it looked like or what happened on their journey, He spoke the word and that settled it.

Beloved, sometimes we can get our eyes off of God and what He promised us in His Word by looking at what’s going on or not going on around us.

But God cares for us and He loves us so much. God would never set us up for failure. He is not a man that He should lie, nor the Son of Man that He should repent. If God did not mean a word, He said to us, He never would have said it.

He is faithful to His promises.

But I want to point out something here. What did Jesus possess that enabled Him to sleep on a little boat being beat by waves, filled with water in the midst of a storm, while the disciples were literally freaking out in fear of death? I’m sure your answer is peace, right?

Absolutely! He possessed peace, but where did it come from? Was Jesus working a formula for peace? Was He operating out of ten steps to living in peace? Or maybe He was working up peace through His own will power.

No, no, no!

I believe Jesus lived in peace because of His relationship with God. Mark 1:35 tells us that Jesus rose a long while before daylight to go to a solitary place and prayed. Mind you, that was the same day they got on the boat to cross over to the other side. It was a long day for Jesus and His disciples. But Jesus started that day with His Father.

In that relationship, He knew who His Father was and that His Father loved Him so much that He had His back. The security He had in His relationship with God is what allowed Him to live from a place of peace, calmness, rest and tranquility or quiet. So, there was not a fearful bone in His body. His Father’s perfect love for Him casted out all fear. He knew He could trust His Father and the words that came out of His Father’s mouth. Beloved, with a foundation like that, peace is inevitable.

Verse 39 tells us that Jesus spoke, “Peace, be still,” to the storm.

See, Jesus could not release out of Himself what was not already in Him.

If He was full of fear and turmoil in His heart, then out of the abundance of His heart, His mouth would have spoken. Peace wasn’t just floating around in His head as though He was trying to talk Himself into it. The peace of God was residing in His heart as a result of His union with God. And that was the difference between His response and the disciples. The storm just simply revealed what was in their hearts.

In this life we too can experience the peace of God in our own personal lives. But it does not come through working some formula. It is a fruit of the Spirit and it flows from within our hearts when we abide and spend time with God. As I mentioned in my previous blog, it is vital for us to know who God is. Getting to know Him through His Word and knowing how much He truly loves us enables us to experience His peace flowing from the inside out.

When we allow the Holy Spirit to persuade our hearts that the peace of God is our inheritance in His Kingdom, then when trials arise, we won’t be moved.

We may not always be perfect in our responses when things happen, but when our hearts reach that place like Jesus,

where we can go to sleep on a pillow in the midst of a storm,

or praise God

or count it all joy,

or let peace rule in our hearts,

we can truly say we are living in peace.

He keeps us in perfect peace whose minds are stayed on Him. Why? Because we trust in Him. And we are not going to trust in someone we don’t know.

Psalm 46:10a says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

What does union with the Father look like?

It looks like times of worship, prayer and being in His Word.

It looks like resting in His love for us and trusting that what God says is true.

It looks like whatever the Lord speaks to our hearts in our journey with Him.

Some of us have so much on our plates, it would be a miracle if we could get some time alone with God. But it is in that place of being in relationship, union, fellowship with Him, that we find and experience true peace.

Beloved, I encourage you to continue to BE with Him and allow Him to love you, and watch how peace flows outwardly and effortlessly toward God, ourselves and those around us.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share. Thank you and blessings to you.

Written by Tonya Williams

Photos by Vicki Brawner

Location – Are you Ready?

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Are you ready to go on a Short-Term Mission trip?

Stop and think! In a few short months, you could be halfway around the world on a mission trip!

You could be making a difference sharing the love of Christ with other believers in their local churches or sharing the Good News with the lost.

It is very exciting to “GO” on a trip!

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see if you are ready to go. If you’re not ready right now, this will give you an opportunity to prepare and get ready.

Before you start planning a trip, ask yourself the following 2 questions.

  1. Do I know why I want to go?
  2. Do I realize it’s not a vacation and I’ll be working with people relatively unknown to me and there will be stresses, as well as adventure?

I think we all need to be honest with ourselves when answering these questions. You may just read them quickly and wonder why you need to answer them. I want to encourage you to spend time thinking and praying about it. There are no wrong answers!

Ask yourself the following 5 questions to assess your spiritual and physical readiness:

  1. Am I a follower of Jesus Christ?
  2. Am I active in my personal relationship with God?
  3. Do I desire to share the good news of God’s love with others?
  4. Do I have health or medical conditions that may affect my ability to travel and serve?
  5. How is my overall health: spiritually, emotionally, and mentally?

Besides the above questions, you also need to ask questions about your readiness to travel overseas.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions:

  1. Is my passport current?

-Best practice is to have it valid for 6 months after your return date. If you need a Visa to travel to your host country, In Motion Ministries will take care of this in the planning process.

  1. Is there political unrest? Will it be safe for a team to travel there?

-If you are unsure, IMM stays abreast of the sensitive locations in the world and will be able to advise you if your country of choice is unsafe for travel and ministry.

  1. Do you need to get vaccinations or medicines before you travel?

-Check with your IMM Trip Planner for the latest information on prevalent diseases for your chosen location or on the website.

These questions are meant to help you prepare to go on a trip. They are a guideline. There are no right or wrong answers. You are the only one that can decide if you are ready to go on a trip. The information can be overwhelming. Start praying and have faith that the Lord will guide you and use you on a trip. Most people come back feeling they received more than they gave. It definitely works both ways. Please be open and ask the Lord to lead you.

Hope to see you on a mission trip in 2019!


Written by Vicki Albaugh

Please visit my blog at

Tales from the Field – Poverty Pt. 2

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Poverty Is a Spiritual Issue

Part 2


Recently, I wrote a blog about visiting our brothers and sisters who reside in a city dump in the Philippines, while serving with Convoy of Hope. That place is where I began to discover that poverty is a spiritual issue. The poverty of soul is so much more prevalent than the physical poverty that my 5 senses beheld.

Here I continue from my journal:

“The next day, we walked through the dump in groups of 4 or 5, with an interpreter, to visit the families of the children who are being fed in the feeding program.


We were telling them of Jesus’ immense love for them, praying for them, encouraging them to come to church, etc. This was particularly difficult to see. My mind was and is still reeling with the living conditions. They have built walls and floors out of anything possible; the trash trucks dump the garbage right there, so they go through it and use some of the stuff. It is so primitive.

No plumbing…

no running water…

only a little electricity.

They cook anywhere with hotplates or over a fire; the filth is unbelievable. They have pigs and ducks and chickens in their living quarters. They sleep on any available surface, there are clothes and worn out shoes scattered over everything. There is garbage and stinky water everywhere. The heat is stifling. The air is filled with smoke as there is always something burning.

As we would enter an abode, we would ask whoever was there if they had anything they would like us to pray for. We went into home after home, and I never once heard a prayer request for things. Not once for a better job, or better living conditions, or for provisions.

I only heard them ask for prayer for relational things –

a family member that was facing illness,

someone falling away from God,

someone with a broken heart,

or someone who had just lost a loved one.

Not one request for the conditions in which they live to be better.


They were all crying over their loved ones. Nothing about their physical circumstances. I was wrecked! This culture is so relational, and the truly important things in life are their relationships and families.

Later on, I got to have a conversation with the missionary’s wife, who is Filipino. As she is married to an American, I thought maybe she could give me some perspective from both cultures. I asked her about the children that grow up in the dump. When asked what their goals and dreams in life are, they have such a different answer than I would expect. My American, privileged eyes only see the conditions in which they live and my immediate thought is that surely they all want to get out of this desperate situation and do whatever it takes to “have a better life”. Our culture and society is constantly chasing the “next better” of everything: jobs, houses, cars, vacations, and even status and titles.

I wanted to know what the teenagers here in the Philippines, who live and exist in the dump, dream about. She told me whenever she asks them this question, they all have the same answer. It is not to go to school. It is not to get a job. It is not to be or do anything. They cannot answer the age-old question we ask our kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” They do not know if they will survive tomorrow. Most of them do not know if they will eat today. The danger from crime and gangs, the scarcity of food, the constant threat of sickness and disease causes them not to think about the future in terms of what they will do and how will they live. They are always in survival mode. There is never a break from crisis. Even if they would have an opportunity to finish their education, get hired for a job that actually pays (the jobs are more scarce than the food), and have the chance to “better” their living conditions…this is not in the scope of their interests. That would mean having to leave their community, move into the city, and end up living in an apartment all alone without their family. The loneliness of this scenario is unthinkable – this is a culture that places the greatest value on relationships, not things.

The answer the teenagers give to the question, “What do you want to do or be in the future?” is not a job or an education or to have a house, but to have children!! Their biggest dream in life is to have a child! They do not approach parenting the way our western mindsets do – responsibility, provision, education, etc. They all live together in survival mode and that is all they know. The happiness and joy they derive from such a life is the joy of having children. That is the only bright thing to look forward to in a future that is so unsure from one day to the next.

I am undone once again. I have been in homes today that were unlivable in my way of thinking, I have heard the prayers of desperation for the needs of loved ones, and observed those living with their focus on people rather than material things or status. I asked the Lord to look through my eyes today and let me see what He sees. Overshadowing all the dirt, filth, grime, and stench was an overwhelming love for people.”

I would like to challenge us today – ask Him, the Giver of all Life and Love, to look through your eyes today and see what He sees. We are surrounded by people suffering from a poverty of soul. If you love Jesus, and have experienced the New Life He paid a very high price for, you are carrying the answer to the hurts and pain of the people you see each day. It is His great pleasure to love those around you – thorough you. Let’s change our world!


Written by Vicki Brawner

In Motion Ministries

Short-term Missions Director

Teaching Blogs – Our Source for Peace Pt. 1

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Greetings everyone! I’m going to begin a two-part series on peace. I believe the Father has laid some things on my heart regarding this topic that I am excited to share with you. Plus, the Word of God has so many goodies in it about peace. You cannot help but be encouraged in His word. I trust your hearts will be blessed.

Often times we hear outcries for peace in our world because there is so much sorrow and unrest today. We don’t know where to turn to find peace. To no avail, we try all sorts of ways to experience peace in our souls because we don’t believe we can have true peace apart from our circumstances. We are tired of the constant violence and destruction plaguing our society. We are stressed and anxious about the future. Is feeling peaceful possible with all that is happening around us?
Let’s stop, take a breath and think for a minute.

So, what is peace, and how can we experience it in our everyday lives?

Looking up the word peace I found a couple meanings in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

One definition says that peace is: a state of tranquility or quiet.

The other definition says it is: a freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; calm or calmness.

As I was reading these definitions, I noticed there was no indication of peace being an absence of problems or challenges. The focus was on the state in which one would operate, or a reaction or response to something.

Peace is really not the absence of challenges in our lives.

As the old saying goes, “It’s not what you go through, it’s how you go through it.” How we perceive life around us is determined by the peace of God our hearts.

God is more concerned about what’s going on inside of us than He is about what’s going on around us. No matter how much we may want peace in the world we live in, if we don’t experience peace in our hearts, we are going to be miserable.

However, we can experience the peace that God has for us in this life, regardless of what it looks like.

Before getting any further into our topic, I just want to lay a bit of a foundation here. We need to be aware and/or reminded that God is at peace with mankind. God is at peace with us.

Luke 2:13-14 tells us:

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host     praising God and saying:

          14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE, GOODWILL TOWARD      men!” [capitalization mine]

Thanks be to God there is no animosity between God and His people. The war is over! Romans 5:1 tells us that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And the Word does encourage us to have peace within ourselves and with others.

But, can we truly experience peace or anything else from God apart from knowing that He is at peace with us? Unfortunately, and for far too long, we have attributed the sorrow and tragedy around us to God. I’ve heard it said, “I believe God allowed this, that or the other to happen to me so that I could help someone else.”

I don’t agree with that at all. My apologies for stepping on any toes. That is not my intent! And it may seem as though I am getting off the subject, but I’m not. So, please hear me out. It grieves my heart to hear that God is being accused of being a child abuser or a killer. How can we find peace with God in that? We can’t!

So, if He didn’t cause the tragedies around us, then perhaps He allowed them. After all He is in control of everything, right?

No, beloved!

God is not putting anything on us or allowing things to happen to us to teach us anything, and He is not in control of everything. Thank God for that!

But it is this way of believing and teaching that has led so many of us into fatal traps of the enemy. God doesn’t need to stoop to the enemy’s level to reveal His perfect will and plan for our lives. God uses His Word. Let me prove it to you.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,    for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

          17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good          work.

Beloved, it’s right there in plain sight!! I don’t see anywhere where it says that God uses temptations, trials or tests to teach us anything.

I was there once where I believed God was allowing certain things to happen to me, so that one day I could be a blessing to or share my testimony with someone else. But the downside to that was, I would end up so confused. When a test, trial, or temptation came against me, I would wonder who or where this was coming from. Was it coming from Satan himself or God, trying to teach me something? Believe it or not, I even had moments where I thought God and Satan were working together against me. Crazy, huh? Because of this, I had a few questions rolling around in my head with no answers to them.

For me, believing that God was allowing things to happen to me left me in a place of total confusion and not peace. I could not experience peace with God and at the same time be concerned about where or when the next hit would happen. Not trying to be facetious, but that’s where I was in my thinking. Because I was ignorant or lacked knowledge in this area, the enemy took advantage of opportunities to steal, kill and destroy in areas of my life.

It wasn’t until years later, that the Lord was able to reveal to me through His word and through Bible College that God was not the guilty party.

He is not out to get us.

God is not the Author of confusion.

He is the Author of peace.

I believe it is so vital for us to know who our God is, because it affects our ability to relate to Him.

And I understand that we go through things and when we have victory over them, they do make for great testimonials and praise reports to encourage others. But God is not the One that’s putting these things on us. God uses His Word, and it is His Word that enables us and empowers us to overcome life’s trials, tests and temptations.

Now, having laid the foundation of being at peace with God, I am going to get into how we can experience true peace in our lives, daily…next time!

So, look out for my next blog as I conclude our subject on peace.


Written by Tonya Williams

Photos by Vicki Brawner

Location Blogs – Jamaica

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“Yeah, Mon!” In beautiful Jamaica you will hear this warm welcome accompanied by a big smile! Jamaicans are relaxed, hospitable, and full of life. What a fabulous place to partner with what God is doing on this exotic island.

Come serve our brothers and sisters in this warm, inviting, tropical setting with your hands, your heart, and your words. There are many ministry opportunities to bring restoration, relief, joy, and the message of grace to this beautiful but needy land. Practical work projects might include construction work on houses or churches; maintenance work such as painting, repairing, or clean-up; and much more.

Your friendship and love extended to the hospitable people of Jamaica will be well received. Schools, churches, clinics, and marginalized neighborhoods will be eternally affected by your gift of sharing your time, energy, and love; building relationships, and advancing the kingdom of God.

Tales from the Field – Poverty Pt. 1

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Poverty Is a Spiritual Issue

Part 1

In Motion Ministries partners with Convoy of Hope, leading some of their Field Teams on the short-term mission field. I had the privilege of traveling with Convoy of Hope to an island in the Philippines with a mission team who visited a community that resides in the city dump. It was there I first heard the statement: Poverty is a spiritual issue.

As we share the gospel while meeting the physical needs of poverty-stricken people, we are truly the hands and feet of Jesus.

The poverty of soul is so much greater in people than the unbelievable living conditions in which we find them.

When someone hears how much they are loved by an all-knowing God, that they have incredible value in His eyes (as well as in the eyes of the one showing them that love), it changes their whole life; giving them hope and healing. This begins to alleviate the poverty we find in the physical realm, because a person who starts to live as a New Creation in Jesus has a reason to get up in the morning, to provide for their family, to live! This hope and new life begins to affect every area of their life, spreading to others, and has a deep impact on a community.

Here is an excerpt from my Philippine journal:

“As our team walks down the pathway through the shacks built on the dump, we see abject poverty. This is worse than I have seen before. There are 4 levels of poverty here:

  1. The wealthiest: the trash truck drivers. They go through the trash, retrieving anything of value.
  2. The pickers: they pick out what the drivers left behind – plastic bottles, glass, anything recyclable.
  3. The Bulldozer drivers: They point out to the pickers what they see as they push the trash in to piles, and the pickers hand it over to them. 23,000 tons of trash arrives at the dump daily.
  4. The men, women, and children who go through the rest of the trash that the other three levels have left behind. This is what they build their homes out of, what they eat, and whatever else they can salvage to use or sell.

It is the children of this 4th level – the poorest of the poorest of the poor – that the local church and Convoy of Hope are reaching with the gospel and a children’s feeding program. The feeding program is a wedge into a people group – a way in to share the gospel. If you meet the physical needs, you can have an ear open to hear the answer to the spiritual need.

The local church here operates with the most compassion I have ever seen. They do not demand that the kids behave, no demanding obedience or acting superior to them; only loving, hugging, up-building. Yet, as the children came in to the community center built right in the midst of the dump, they sat quietly and peacefully waited for their food. They were so well behaved. So small and mal-nourished. So happy. So dirty and desperate. So tranquillo.

Why? They know they are loved, and they WILL get fed today. They climb into your lap, wrap their arms around you, smile and laugh…and love. Such a dichotomy. So helpless. So desperate. The problem is too big and overwhelmingly impossible. Yet so filled with the presence of Jesus. I cannot wrap my mind around it. Love truly covers a multitude of depravity.”

As I look back on that experience, it is so clear to me that the presence of our Lord is everywhere, even in the dump. These precious children are tasting and seeing that the Lord is good, and He cares for them in a tangible way. What a joy to introduce them to the lover of their souls, giving them the opportunity to journey with Him forever, discovering the purpose for which they were so lovingly created. We all are blessed to be the bearers of this precious message, whether across the ocean or in our neighborhood.

Poverty is everywhere, whether we see it in the physical realm, or whether it is internal.

You and I get to introduce all those around us to our amazing Provider, inviting them to an encounter with the One who knows them best.


Written by Vicki Brawner

In Motion Ministries

Short-term Missions Director

In Motion Ministries

Explore The Ignite Project 2019 through In Motion Ministries

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Are you interested in serving God through ministry and missions, but don’t know how to get started? Christian short mission trip organizations like In Motion Ministries offer you the opportunity to go further and grow deeper in your spiritual journey. The challenging experiences we provide can help propel you into the destiny God has in store for you. Get started with The Ignite Project!

The Ignite Project is In Motion Ministries’ month-long missions training intensive for passionate believers. It’s hosted at our headquarters in Northern Colorado and uses training exercises, classes, and hands-on ministry activation to get you ready for your first mission. You’ll start with a wilderness retreat in the Rocky Mountains and finish with a week-long mission trip in Costa Rica to put all of your training to use. We offer the best training available from short-term mission organizations to give you the experience of a lifetime. 

What You Gain From the Experience

You will leave our Christian short-term mission training program with “Leader in Training” status and a certificate of completion with In Motion Ministries. As an LIT, you’ll enjoy lower mission trip costs and be a part of our IMM Leader Family.  You’ll gain access to missions and ministry resources and further training for as long as you remain an LIT or become an IMM Certified Leader.

In addition, you will find new ways to experience God’s love. While bringing His word to others, we strive to understand His true character and live our lives in His likeness. The Ignite Project can help you expand your capacity for love as you lead and serve, embrace your true identity, and bring change to the world through the power of Jesus. It will teach you the qualities of healthy leadership and ministry, as well as flexibility in adverse situations. You will practice in an environment where it’s safe to take risks and grow as a Christian individual while living from a scriptural foundation. You will also build relationships that last a lifetime.

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Price of The Ignite Project and What’s Included

The total cost for this program is $3,599, which may sound like a lot, but think of what you get for the money. You’ll receive housing, meals, a wilderness retreat in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, as well as class materials, lectures, and hands-on training. It also includes a one-week mission trip to Costa Rica including transportation, flights, food, housing, and ministry expenses. Not to mention the amazing transformative experience that occurs when you spread the word of God’s love.

Over the past 20 centuries, Christians have announced around 1,500 global plans to evangelize around the world, but many have failed. You can help change that. If you’ve been researching short-term mission organizations, but don’t know if you’re ready to participate, the Ignite training program can help prepare you. We’d love to have you as part of In Motion Ministries 2019 Ignite family. If you have questions, email or call us for more information.