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Costa Rica

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Mission Trip to Costa Rica 2018

Your shirt is sticking to you,

you smell disgusting,

you’re bumping around in a fifteen-passenger van with seventeen people in it,
and you’re in the middle of nowhere –

You might be on a mission trip!

These are just a few of the things Chris (my husband) and I got to experience in Costa Rica. And if you’ve ever traveled on a short-term mission trip, you very well may have experienced the same things!

After every mission trip, I like to set aside time to process. I ponder what God did on the trip, how I felt throughout the trip, how I feel after returning home, what impact we may have had on the local people, etc. Sometimes this processing is straightforward and easy, other times it is strained and confusing. In all honesty, I’m not completely sure where I’m at after returning home from our trip to Costa Rica. Lucky for you, this time you get to participate in my time of processing!

Nothing about this trip was exceptionally unique. Of course, every trip is unique in its own regard. In fact, we were originally supposed to travel to Nicaragua, but civil uprisings forced a change of plans. I’ve grown accustomed to this kind of fluidity among mission trips. We make a plan, follow the plan, then adjust when flights get delayed, people change their minds, or any number of other random occurrences transpire. Fortunately, after the location change, this trip progressed with only small bumps along the way. Once we shifted from Nicaragua to Costa Rica, we began preparations for a jungle village in the very northern region of the country. The local, long-term missionary we partnered with has spent a significant amount of time in this village, and we had the privilege of jumping in alongside that ministry. We traveled into the sticky, hot, humid, muddy jungle and we saw God work in the same spectacular ways He does in our own lives. God is good and He is the same no matter where you go! This is one of my absolute favorite things about missions. You get to see God move in the hearts of those who have nothing AND those who have everything.

Now, about my own processing of the trip: as routine as this trip felt for me, it has still stirred my heart. I have realized new things about myself, and I have many more questions about where God is leading Chris and me in ministry. Short-term mission trips are truly incredible. They have the power to turn our world upside down, pull us closer to God, force us to delve into the depths of our hearts, ruin us for the normal. I have thrived on this all my life (literally, my entire life). But this trip to Costa Rica is opening my eyes to new wells inside my soul. I am seeing clearly that I desire to help people get wrecked by short-term mission trips (wrecked in a good way, of course!), but I do not want to stop ministering to them there. I want to continue to walk with them afterwards. How? I have no idea, but I’m ok with waiting for answers.

So, if you’ve ever travelled on a mission trip with me, you can bet that I probably still think of you from time to time. I hope you’re thriving. And I’d love to hear from you!

 

Written by Kenzie Dunn-Morris
Kenzie@inmotionministries.org
In Motion Ministries Trip Coordinator

Uncommon Means Pt. 2

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The Uncommon Means of a Life Well-Lived
Part 2

In Part 1, we briefly mentioned what life in the Upside-Down Kingdom looked like.

In Part 2, lets learn about authority, serving, and the general character and demeanor of a Christian.

What does Authority Look Like when It’s Upside-Down?

Have you noticed how so many people are focused on ‘getting ahead’ in life? Some people will do almost anything for a short-term change in positioning.

Networking is seen more as knowing the right people than creating value in an effort to create lasting relationships.

Debt is taken on so that they can look the part more than they act the part.

What other shortcuts have you noticed?

Authority in our world takes on a lot of different shapes:

  • For many, it is just looking the part and tricking others.
  • For a lot of people, it is about exerting as much power and coercion as possible to achieve their goals and aspirations.
  • Others just want celebrity, fame, and to be admired.
  • Commanding attention can be everything.

When we looked at prayer in the Upside-Down Kingdom, in Part 1, we learned that it is a weapon. Typically, weapons are tools we use to exact our own aims. In the Upside-Down Kingdom, prayer becomes an exercise of dependence as we allow God to be the one who brings about change.

Similarly, authority is drastically changed.

Authority becomes Servitude

Authority, in the world around us, is top-dogs taking their helm and exercising control & power.

Authority in God’s Kingdom gets to be quite a bit different from that.

Authority ceases to be something we aspire to but rather becomes the thing we joyfully submit to. That submitting is what we are called to as Christians and what a powerful thing it becomes.

Trusting God over Myself

How many times do we insist on doing things our way? I would venture to say a lot.

I have had plenty of ideas in time past that I thought would make my life great and wonderful. Plans that would take me to great heights and achievement. What I forgot along the way was knowledge of the Upside-Down Kingdom.

My plans don’t matter so much. And when I look back at all those plans I made up for myself, they weren’t so great.

The best things that have happened in my life have been things that have made no sense but were definitely God’s calling.

My moving to a state I knew nothing about to become an associate pastor, a job I had never done before, was far outside my ability to dream.

Dating my now wife required an uncomfortable long-distance relationship and a lot of trust in God’s plan at first.

These things, among others, have turned out to be the best things in my life…yet were experiences that were ordained by God.

The moments where I trust myself minimally and God entirely are the moments that make me most alive. But what do most of these moments involve?

A giving up of authority and picking up a mindset of serving.

Serving God and Serving Others

When I opt to trust God, this leads to me serving Him.

Which, honestly, takes you to some really great places in life. Those places typically involve serving the world. The perspective of a sold-out Christian changes from wanting to have authority into wanting to serve everyone we come in contact with.

This desire for serving people is to enable others to become spiritually alive through seeing and experiencing the love of Christ through you. Most people will never care about what you have to say until they know that you care about them. But serving is more than just building bridges to open up dialogue for evangelism.

It is living life with them.

Speaking about the big truths of the Bible with them.

It’s staying on the phone with them when it cuts into personal time.

Serving others becomes an uncommon means of grace in their life.

It also means that the talents and resources of your life are used to grow other people’s faith more than your status in society. It’s easy to use what you’ve been given in life as a way for you to gain popularity and attention. But, what is more useful is using those things to serve others.

Uncommon Means to a Life Well-Lived

We’re discussing the things that are easily glossed over. It’s the things that go against the “common knowledge” about how to live a successful life.

What have you learned so far? How can you better serve people (and God)? What are your thoughts?

 

Written by Chris Morris

Montana

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Short-term Mission Trip to Montana

In Motion Ministries and You Are Worthy Ministries partnered together in the summer of 2017 to bring a women’s retreat to the ladies of Morning Star Baptist Church in Lame Deer, Montana. The Native women of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe welcomed our team with open arms and open hearts. God moved with such impact on everyone’s hearts that week, no one was untouched! Our team returned with amazing stories of breakthrough, healing, and stepping into the true identity that Jesus has so graciously given. The enthusiasm and communication with these new sisters continued through the year, and there was a great desire to “do it again!!”

In June of this year, (2018) another excited group of ladies (half the team returnees from the previous year) loaded their luggage, their bedrolls, and gifts in the van, and headed down the road to Lame Deer with great anticipation. How heartwarming it was to get out of the vehicles in the pouring rain as the glowing evening sun showed through the trees, to the welcoming hugs of our dear friends.

For some it was as if no time had passed; for others, this was their first taste of a short-term mission trip. We sprinted into the church through huge raindrops, eager to meet our hosts and begin the week for which we had spent so much time in prayer and preparation.

Once again, Holy Spirit showed up in a mighty way.

The Comforter touched those who were grieving;

His tangible love touched those who felt unworthy;

He ministered peace to those who live in chaos.

This Indian Reservation is wracked with the effects of drug and alcohol addiction, bringing immense grief from untimely tragic death, touching each person closely. One dear sister told us, “There is so much grief here. We never get over the death of a close loved one before another tragedy happens. It feels as if we will never get out from under it.”

We felt the Lord bringing His message of community… journeying together, holding space for each other’s pain and progress. We were all encouraged that it is possible to thrive in the midst of loss. It is because He is the ‘Keeper of our hearts’ that we can trust Him to hold us together, even in the storms that bring chaos or uncertainty.

He promises peace

…when we first put aside the worry that creeps up all too often,

…when we instead commit everything into His capable hands through prayer

…and we receive incredible power when we thank Him for what He has already done.

(Philippians 4: 6-7)

The act of prayer walking in the neighborhoods of Lame Deer, asking God to bless and protect each home and family and thanking Him for what He is doing to bring each one to Himself, was so very powerful. Our team joined together with some who live in these neighborhoods and sought God’s grace and provision for each home – one by one. The Lord would speak to our hearts, inspiring us to pray specifically for the needs before us, often confirming it through the Scriptures. This was such a tangible, powerful way of bringing what is “on earth, as it is in heaven” to pass.

Too soon it was time to bid our goodbyes, load the vehicles and go back to our everyday lives… although we will never be the same. We were sent home after this mission trip with such gratitude, such love, and gave many promises to return again, as well as continue the journey together. There is such joy in walking together, lifting each other up to the Lover of our souls, and loving each other well.

Keep our dear brothers and sisters of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in your prayers as they face what can, at times, be overwhelming pain and darkness. Ask the Light of the World to shine on them, bringing hope for despair, joy for mourning, peace, and the ability to thrive in chaos. May they (and we) come to understand their value and worth given through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Written by Vicki Brawner
Short-term Missions Director and Trip Leader
In Motion Ministries

Short Term Mission Trips

Rampart, Alaska

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Mission Trip to Rampart, Alaska

“I have no clue what to think,” I thought to myself when I heard about Rampart, a village in Interior Alaska, accessible only by air or boat on the Yukon River.  Viewing “Fish Camps” along the way, we got a brief glimpse of life in Rampart as our team traveled the two-hour trip down the river in a 26-foot flat bottomed boat captained by village worker, Leon. These were just glorified camp sites which are used in the summer during salmon spawning runs to provide for wintertime subsistence. The population of Rampart increases greatly in the summer months (estimated at 92 people this summer, versus 30-ish in the winter) as many residents spend their winter in Fairbanks.

We were greeted at the shore by a couple of local dogs, who entertained right away by fetching sticks (or small branches, as was the case). Leon went to get a village pickup to haul our luggage and supplies to the school, while the team trekked up the road to our accommodation.

Our proposed lodging was in the community center with no refrigerator or stove available, an outhouse out back and showers 5 minutes up the road at the “Washateria” – combination laundromat and bath house. Surprisingly, we got an upgrade! We were notified the morning we departed to Rampart we would be allowed to stay in the school instead, which is in the heart of the village. There are approximately a dozen students during the school year from families that live in Rampart year-round.  The school has a couple of showers, flush toilets, and we were also fortunate enough to be allowed the use of the school kitchen facility. The Rampart Village Council Office also operates in the school building, so we had Wi-Fi available for 2 ½ hours each evening, but there is no cell service. Locals, mostly kids, hang out around the school during those hours to get on the internet and check e-mail.

We set up housekeeping in the small gymnasium. Each of our 8 team members (+ 3 leaders from Last Frontier Ministries) “staked” our claim for spots for our air mattresses and sleeping bags. Then we set up our dining/meeting table down the center of the room and our food pantry in the corner.  We had the benefit of basketball goals, balls, a cool hanging rope, as well as village kids of the school custodian to play with.

We started each day with devotions, following breakfast, where the team each took turns with their selection. The discussion following the devotion was the best conversation ever – there is nothing better than fellowship with the team. Our first full day, we determined our schedules for afternoon Vacation Bible School and evening ministry, all held in the community center. Our information flyers were designed and drawn by our younger team members. We split up, went down the road (after we put on our “bug dope” to ward off the mosquitoes) house to house to introduce ourselves, and spread the word to the villagers about our VBS. At a few stops we got to see, first-hand, the processing of salmon for smoking it in strips; it is a kind of jerky. This salmon-smoking ritual seems like it would have been the same 100 years ago.

Our VBS was a well-attended success, even though most of the adults seemed to have a lack of faith.  The village children began gathering at the appointed (ish!) time in the afternoon. Since the Alaska summer night is not dark, but dusk at best, the kids go to bed early in the morning most times. It is not unusual for them to barely make it to VBS at 2 p.m.  Our theme was “God’s Chosen”, so the first day was rewarding to assist in helping them describe themselves in positive ways; something that was obviously not the norm. Our skits were a hit, just as much as the team enjoyed putting them on. It was refreshing to have the youngsters feel comfortable, easily laughing and playing with us.

Our leading team members blessed Rampart by sharing messages at three evening Church Services, beginning with Praise and Worship. We could sure feel the presence of the Holy Spirit! Following the last service, the team conducted four baptisms in the Yukon River!! One young lady, Teresa, was at all three services and let the team know she felt that we had come just for her benefit. What a victory for Jesus! Teresa was baptized by Bryan and Rob, of our team, along with three of our young team members. The Baptism was attended by several of the villagers – adults and children.

The folks from Rampart are a very private, protective people who don’t immediately open up. Fortunately, we had the benefit of the solid relationships that had previously been established by our hosts Sam and Rob of Last Frontier Ministries, who had spent time working alongside some of the Rampart residents. This paved the way for our team to be accepted in the village. It was a privilege to hear of the life journey and subsequent return to Rampart of an elder, Harold, as well as the tender closeness of Michelle (the Village Administrator) as a child, her Aunt and their prayer ritual. We also received gifts of fresh caught King Salmon and got to enjoy that wonderful delight for supper a few times – there is no comparison to what we experience at home!

The team all did their part to clear brush and weeds (willow trees sprout up everywhere and needed to be lopped off) to reclaim the school playground and outdoor living space for some of our friends. The guys split firewood for a few of the elders, which was especially appreciated as wood is their main source of heat.  It was our actions that spoke volumes in conveying the message of Christ to the people of Rampart.

All too soon, it was time to pack up, scrub the school to leave the place a little better than when we came, and travel back up the river….

‘Till we me meet again, Rampart – you made a special impact on us all!

 

Written by Bonnie Ruggles

Uncommon Means PT. 1

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The Uncommon Means of a Life Well-Lived
Part 1

How We Get Things Done vs. How God Gets Things Done

There seems to be many patterns of thought or thinking that we hold on to that we don’t even know exist until someone calls them to our attention.

Have you ever heard the idea of God’s Kingdom being the
Upside-Down Kingdom?

In, what we would normally think of a kingdom, we have rulers and their governed territories. From these rulers, we then obviously get rules about how life should look and work. People then follow these rules because not only do they exist, but so do the ever-present consequences of not following them.

Typical rules could cover any part of life; from normative to political. They speak of how people should treat the important and where you are in the hierarchy of importance as compared to other people in the kingdom.

These rulers often lay-out, in clear terms, what it means to be successful in their kingdom and what sorts of results are important to them. We understand this. It’s an age-old operation of humanity that lives on today in every facet of every culture.

The Upside-Down Kingdom flies in the face of many of these long-held presuppositions of how the world works and what we should do to achieve desired results.

What is Valued in Society?

Lots of determination and quick thinking.

Constant self-exertion and entrepreneurship.

Self-reliance and strong-arming our way into making things happen.

Exploring new territory.

Acquiring as much as possible; be it wealth, possession, relationships, promotion, fame, acceptance, etc.

While those sorts of things are useful in life, there are things that are more important and more useful for achieving spiritual breakthrough.

Seeing Things Upside-Down

Prayer is that sort of thing. On the surface, it may seem like you are just sitting in a quiet place talking to yourself. From a secular perspective, it could best be seen as meditation and mindfulness– you connecting with the deeper parts of yourself. But this is not what prayer for the Christian is about.

Christian prayer is about connection and trust.

What has been revealed to us through the Bible is that God is a loving Father who is open and available to us. We don’t have to schedule an appointment to meet with Him, or worse yet, assume that He is uninterested with us. We get to genuinely speak our hearts and know that God is hearing us. This is for our benefit!

We have a very personal Father who is actively engaged in hearing us and teaching us through prayer, especially when coupled with active Bible Reading.

We are able to have a real relationship with Him!

Trust is what happens when we assume that God is right about things. It is doing the things that don’t make sense to us because we defer our judgment to someone who has more knowledge and insight into the matters of life.

Prayer is a giant trust exercise.

Prayer as an Uncommon Weapon

The fact that prayer is often spoken of as a weapon is really interesting. Usually, weapons are the things we place in our hands that enable us to exact a very specific and undeniable end result.

Have you heard that prayer is a tool? This is an interesting way to phrase the use of prayer because usually when we talk about tools and their usefulness, we talk about what we can accomplish with them. We grab the hammer, we set a nail, and then we pound the nail into place. This is actually the exact opposite of what we mean when we talk about prayer!

Prayer is dependence on God within our desire to see specific outcomes and results in our life. Let it be known, when you and I pray, we aren’t guaranteeing a specific outcome in life. We aren’t pointing to a particular situation and expecting things to work out like we would have them be.

Why is this?

Prayer simply means talking.

Talking with God.

When we talk with God, we assume that He knows more than us. We assume He has the power and resource to do immeasurable things. We assume He has a vast understanding of the situation before us.

The reason why prayer is a weapon is because God most definitely is working in the background and foreground of our situations. The problem with the conventional way of thinking of prayer as a tool for the Christian is that we don’t control God.

We don’t force His hand.

We ask. We plead.

And then we rest.

We rest in knowing that He has it figured out.

He is working.

Often times, we are the ones that are called to change! What a thought: we pray to change a situation and one of the biggest things that can be accomplished is that we, ourselves, are changed!

What happens after we say, “Amen,” is up to God. We should pray with great faith but also with great dependence because we don’t know how He will answer our prayers.

We may have asked Him for the very thing He wanted to do. Other times, He has other plans than us. It is up to us to be full of faith. Faith doesn’t merely mean that what we pray for, comes to pass. Faith, at the root, means that we trust and believe in a Mighty God.

Uncommon Means Series

It’s our hope that you will live a life that is fully dependent on God to do big things in life. Prayer is one thing that has ignited passion, spanning lifetimes, for all sorts of long-lasting Kingdom work.

If you or someone you know is going on a trip with In Motion Ministries this year, we really hope that you can spend some deep, precious time with Father. Your dependence on God is what prepares you for listening to the big, challenging things He has for you.

Later on, in this series of blog posts, we will be discussing other aspects of the Upside-Down Kingdom like: Bible Reading, Giving vs. Receiving, Helping Others Grow, and possibly others.

Tell us what you’d like to learn about or what you thought was really powerful in today’s blog.

 

Written by Chris Morris

China

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The Value of a Bible

What value do you place on your Bible? As a believer, I suspect you find that question easy to answer in that you would quickly say you have great value for your Bible. However, what if owning a Bible meant putting your life at risk, either as a prison sentence or even death? Would this change the value you have for your Bible? I suspect it would, but how would you or I really know how it would affect us?

Many of you have followed IMM for years now, and you are aware that we have been sending short-term mission teams to China and other southeast Asian countries for quite some time. Recently we have been purchasing Bibles for believers in some of these countries through ministries that are already there on the field. What a joy it has been to be involved in this form of ministry and to watch many lives touched in a deep and powerful ways as we have made Bibles available to them.

Just recently we purchased another 1500 Bibles! These Bibles will be in the hands of believers in the next few weeks. I wish I could share more details, but for security reasons I can only share so much. This particular opportunity comes with many James Bond-like details and could only take place because of the faithful service of believers in Jesus in some very challenged situations. And yet, in the midst of difficulty that is beyond what most of us cannot even begin to comprehend, the Gospel is prospering in people’s lives. Even though I cannot give you more details, please rejoice with me that the Good News is being preached and Bibles are being delivered in environments where the governments work diligently to keep it from happening.

I invite you to join me by giving to IMM’s One Initiative. 100% of your donation goes directly to the purchase of Bibles, and each donation of $1 will purchase a Bible that we will deliver into a closed country. You will be the one to provide a Bible to a believer who is unable to obtain one in any other way.

Your value for the Bible will be evident!!

Written by Seth Dunn
IMM CEO

England

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It was 1986 when this team left Colorado for our first international short-term mission trip. We had literally been from coast to coast in the U.S. – east, west and south – on short-term mission trips, but we had not been out of the U.S. together. We boarded a double-decker Boeing 747 in Denver and made the second ever direct flight to London. The first such flight had taken place the day before.

Oh, what novices we were. Some had never been on an airplane. Only I had previously been to Europe. We were about to learn what it means that England and America are “two countries divided by a common language”! We were not very subtle about our surprise at the things that seemed like inconveniences to us. Hopefully our naivety was not too offensive!

What we did know was the heart of short-term mission trips. LOVE. We loved God, we loved people, and we loved music. Oh, how this team could sing. And, they sang everywhere we went. Yes, they sang in churches, schools and various places where they were invited; but they also sang on the airplane, on their bus, on the streets, in the garden where William Shakespeare proposed to Anne Hathaway and in cathedrals that they were touring. They sang. They prayed and shared God’s love where ever they went. This is the essence of a short-term mission trip. LOVE.
Recently I listened again to some of the songs they recorded upon returning home. Then I read the team journal that they wrote. One excerpt particularly touched me. “Burt (one of our home hosts) shared his feeling about watching the group that had been in his home the night before. He and his wife spent a lot of time that night trying to figure out what made them different. They eliminated the single fact that they love each other because a lot of people love each other. They concluded that the unique quality was that they edified each other in the Lord. They encouraged and taught each other, as he put it.”

What a successful first international short-term mission trip we had in 1986. We experienced a great harvest for the kingdom, we made life-time friends, our lives were greatly impacted along with many of those whom we ministered to in England; but what we didn’t know at the time, we established a firm foundation for hundreds of teams and thousands of team members that were to follow.

We have now been on 6 continents and in 50 countries. You can read about some of our escapades and lessons learned while on short-term missions in the book “101 Ways to Flush a Toilet.” If you would like a copy contact me at: norma@inmotionministries.org

Isaiah 52:7 (NET)

How delightful it is to see approaching over the mountains the feel of a messenger who announces peace, a messenger who brings good news, who announces deliverance, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

I would invite you to join an In Motion Ministries short-term mission trip. Come taste the joy of carrying this message of good news to the world.

Written by:
Norma Dunn
Founder and Missions Consultant
In Motion Ministries

Love’s Flow

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Sharing the love of God is one thing but receiving God’s love is another. I had spent many years of my life trying to love – God, family, friends, etc.
To be honest with you, I found it to be a real struggle.
Why? Why did it feel so hard to love?
Was it because I really didn’t love myself? Love your neighbor as yourself, right?
Or maybe it was because I never received God’s love for me first? Hmm, that had not crossed my mind then.
But that was it!

It was a struggle because I was trying to give away something I didn’t or thought I didn’t have. I was trying to love in my own strength – to no avail. To me that was like trying to pour water out of an empty bottle.

See, even loving me was difficult because I had yet to receive God’s love. How was I supposed to know how to love others, if I didn’t allow the Father to love on me first? His love could only be expressed through me as I received love from Him.

I also realized that God was not going to force His love on me. I had to want Him to love me. I had to open my heart or really remove the wall of religion and hurt that I held around my heart for so long, and invite His love in. God is a gentleman and not an intruder, so He wasn’t going to force His love into my heart.

As much as God so desires to lavish us with His love, He cannot violate our will. He is love and His love for us is a gift, but just like a gift, we can either receive it or reject it.

My encounter with God’s love happened almost 11 years ago. Mind you, I have been a believer in Jesus Christ for a little over 23 years. But I really began experiencing His love for me in a tangible way within the last 11 years.

What hindered me from experiencing His love sooner, was how I viewed and what I believed about God at that time. There were moments when I didn’t think God loved me or that I even deserved His love. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Well, I never had a lot of faith to come for God’s love because it wasn’t taught or shared as much then as it is now. So, I was left to think that God did not love me for whatever reason, or maybe He did. I even read my Bible and prayed at times with that same mindset.

Thanks be to God; His love has totally set me free from the lies of thinking and feeling unloved. Now I see why it was hard for me to give away love. Now I see why the enemy fought my relationship with God so fiercely. It was because he did not want me to awaken to the truth of the Father’s love for me in my heart. But in order for me to release that love to others, I needed to receive His love first.

Sounded selfish didn’t it? But it wasn’t! I was bound through religious thinking and could not see the love God had poured into my heart. It was already there, but I could not see it. I was not free, and was of no help to anyone else.

I began to humble myself more and more and allow the Spirit of God through His Word, to persuade my heart of the Father’s love for me. I am becoming more established in His love. Chains over my thought life and areas of my soul are being broken because of embracing God’s love.

What’s also beautiful about the love of the Father is that the more He shows me how much He loves me, the more He shows me how much He loves others.

How God sees me is how He sees others.

It’s not difficult to love me or other people now. Why? Because I’m not giving away or freely sharing the love of God with others in order to get them to love me back. That’s not love, that’s manipulation. God is my Source of love, not people. People are recipients of His love through me. Some know how to receive it and some don’t. But we are never without God’s love. His love is a steady flow to us and through us and it never runs out. He loves us just that much, and it’s not based on our performance. He is just that good!

Now, am I saying that loving people is not a challenge at times? Of course not! There are challenges here and there when we encounter people in our lives. It’s all a part of living in this fallen world where no one is perfect, but when you truly encounter God’s heart for them, you will find that He deeply loves everyone.

No one is left out.

No one!

And as valuable and as precious as people are, we don’t have to place more value on what they think about us than what God thinks of us.

If walking in God’s love comes as a struggle for you, maybe you are having a hard time receiving God’s love for you. Maybe not! Sincerely pray about it and ask the Father to show you your heart, and He will. Begin to embrace His love for you, bringing healing and restoration to your heart where it’s needed. Then over time, watch how you’ll be able to love God, you and others effortlessly.
Until next time beloved, blessings!

Alaska

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One of my favorite destinations!

As a short-term mission trip leader, I try not to pick favorite places to serve, but see the beauty and value in each location and each people group served. So, I will choose my words wisely here!

If you love serving needy people who are quiet, proud, and deeply relational surrounded by a mystical location brimming with cool breezes, wide rivers, vast mountains, and an untouched wilderness, you want to serve on a short mission trip to Alaska. This location is a juxtaposition of awesome and lonesome, freedom and imprisonment, love and disdain.

Truthfully, isolation changes a person. For some it’s freeing and powerful; for others its stifling and a dead end.

Jesus says “Go” to everyone, “and tell them the GOOD News about what I did for them.”

Alaskan’s need to hear some good news that is not fleeting like the sun when winter takes it from the sky for months at a time.

For many, this Good News is a new revelation of what they innately feel and believe but can’t grasp from the natural world. For others it is freedom from pain, self-loathing, and regret.

For me – it’s a chance to share delivery from isolation and loneliness. I understand feeling abandoned, lonely and rejected. I truly believed in the Good News Gospel only after I heard that Jesus pursues me and wants me today, just as I am. I didn’t know He wanted to be my brother, my friend and my lover. I just didn’t want to end up in hell, so I jumped in God’s wagon! Now I know that I am loved, pursued, valued…wanted! And not by a person who will eventually let me down and hurt me, but by the One who never goes back on His promises! The only One any of us can count on. This is the message Alaskan’s need to hear.

Have you felt unloved, worthless? Have you tried to drown your pain in ways that sent you down a destructive path? If you have “been there, done that,” you have a story to tell and a reason to share what the Lord has done for you. Are you the one Jesus is calling to go to Alaska and share this Good News?

I believe everyone needs to know there is hope and it is found in Jesus. I found Him through my pain. You may have found Him that way too. Many people around the world need to hear our stories of triumph over pain through Jesus. They need to see it’s possible to know and experience true love. We all want to belong and be loved. It’s a driving force in me to give people the opportunity to know this wonderful Jesus! People are worth whatever it takes for me to get there and tell them. Is it worth it to you?

Written by Cindy Lundy
Alaska Mission Trip

embarking on group missions

5 Reasons Every Teen Should Experience A Mission Trip

By | Group Mission Trip, Mission Trips, Short-term Mission Trips | No Comments

What if there was an experience that could open your eyes, soften your heart, and turn you into an empowered servant of God?

For thousands of people, this experience is what they voluntarily sign up for on a yearly basis. In the United States alone, thousands of groups will embark on a Jesus-centered, life-changing mission trip. A large fraction of those groups are made up of young, up-and-coming servants of God: teenagers.

The teen years are a formative time, and it’s important that teens be surrounded with people who can help them grow not only in mind and heart, but in faith.

Here are five reasons why every teen should experience going on a short term group mission trip:

Mission trips build community.

Mission trips are events that teens look forward to where they get to create lifelong friendships as they serve God side by side. Having shared experiences, especially ones with people who have common beliefs, brings groups together. Teens who go on mission trips eat together, travel together, work with people together, get up at atrocious hours together, and bond with one another.

Missions trips broaden horizons.

Teenagers rarely get the opportunity to step outside their warm, cushy bubbles and see what life is like for other people. But when they join a short term group mission trip, they are able to meet individuals from all walks of life. In their day to day lives teens don’t get to witness firsthand the stark differences between their lives and those who aren’t as fortunate. They don’t get to learn about the history of a place as told by its people.

The kind of education a short term group mission trip provides cannot be taught in school. Teenagers become more appreciative of the privileges they enjoy on a daily basis when they see how other people can live without first world luxuries. Short term missions prove that financial status is arbitrary, and that in God’s eyes, everyone is the same.

Mission trips push comfort zones.

Living in a first world country comes with a lot of perks. Hot and cold showers, soft beds, television, abundance of clean drinking water… the list goes on. Teenagers typically won’t encounter discomforts that people from impoverished countries suffer through every single day.

Short term missions give young adults the opportunity to break out of their comfort zones. They get to paint houses, carry out minor home repairs, manually mix concrete under the heat of the sun, eat simple food, and sleep on air mattresses (sometimes on the floor). But then they are constantly reminded that through their service, they are able to help others grow closer to Christ.

Mission trips give purpose.

We often underestimate the ability of teenagers to impact the world, but when given the chance, they take on a lot of responsibility and make a difference.

Mission trips allow youth to think and act like adults, without the safety net of home. They become proactive, open-minded individuals and become more aware of what they’re capable of doing. That, in itself, is a most powerful thing.

Mission trips allow teens to participate in Christ’s ministry.

Jesus journeyed far and wide to preach the gospel to his flock. For many teenagers, mission trips are the start of their lifelong commitment to God’s word. It gives them the chance to participate in God’s global mission in agreement with His heart for the world.

Adults who have gone on a Christian mission trip as a teenager, often recall that the experience was one in which God worked through their lives. It wasn’t simply about going on a fun tour with their friends, or painting houses for the needy, or building resumes for their future career. It was about anchoring their faith in the Lord through serving others.

For many years, short term group mission trips have played a crucial role in the lives of Christian teenagers, and we continue to believe in the power it has on developing minds. Many teens have walked away from our programs with a stronger heart for service than ever before.

Interested in participating in Christ’s ministry with your group? Join In Motion Ministries!