So...we've waited for a year. Last year was the first..and this year will not be the last. It is our biggest student ministries event of the year - 2 hours completely focused on missions. This year we had an Africa focus - we're sending our 2nd team to Burkina Faso to partner with CM&A missionaries there. But this is bigger than Africa. This is bigger than a 2 hour event. This is about being used by God and being a part of His story to love and call His creation, His people, those created by His hand, to His name.

This event is NOT about numbers...it's about the cool-ness of having a front-row seat to see God at work in the lives of those around you. I am still processing this on so many levels. As a youth pastor - seeing students catch a vision of a mission-al life - looking out for others more than yourselves; mercy, compassion and sacrifice so that people may catch a glimpse of Jesus; providing for the physical needs of people out a heart of Christ-like compassion. Watching students commit their lives to foreign missions as God allows...watching an artist with a love for God and a love for the people of Africa share his gift of creativity and his heart through message...seeing and hearing students embody 3 amazing missionaries (David Livingstone, Mary Slessor, Betty Greene)...hearing fabulous worship from musicians who love Jesus and love to sing to Him...seeing the people I get to serve alongside shine in so many ways...having conversations with students talking now about visions of foreign missions they already have...it's clearly a highlight of the year...almost as exciting as seeing students come to know Christ... I get to see things full circle - from students asking questions about who Jesus is, to accepting Him as their Lord and Savior...all the way to going wherever He calls them to go. I love it!

Then...processing all this as a friend. I look at so many people that were sitting in this room as friends. There are many who are no longer middle school or high school students who are on the fast-track to serving God overseas. There is a high desire on their heart to be where He wants them to be...but sometimes the waiting for His timing can be so hard... in the meantime, I love watching them grow, see their passions and desires for service increase...and at the same time, as hard as it is, seeing their faith in Him increase as well...

Then...processing as a mom. It was amazing to watch my kids in the room - singing along, wearing their Africa t-shirts, and have them witness middle school, high school and college students worship, pray, commit, and give --- all with a focus on foreign missions. There's only so much that I as a mom can instill in them, and model for them. That day, they had 300 Christ-like models to watch. My kids always inspire me. To watch them get excited about the offering we took for a youth center in Burkina (including making their own contribution), to repeating stories they heard while attending, to asking questions about things they saw & heard...I know that even in my 5 & 8 year old are being impacted by these students....and they haven't left the country.

That's the bottom-line. I can't wait to see many of these students boldly go to other nations to share Christ with them, in word & deed. I can't wait to see many of these students send other people to other nations - with the support and backing so desperately needed. I can't wait to see God work in the lives of people in all the nations....and to one day see them in heaven as we worship as we are all fully intended to...wow what a day REACH was...what a day it will be when we see Jesus face to face...

(Oh, if you want to see "this" day...check out this link where you can watch all of REACH for yourself...)



©2009 Until... | by TNB