Those of us who travel and preach from place to place as itinerants have certain mantras we come back to again and again. For that matter, pastors have certain core themes they remind their people of as well. If I preach at your church, event, to students, leaders, or the whole church, you are likely [...]
Those of us who travel and preach from place to place as itinerants have certain mantras we come back to again and again. For that matter, pastors have certain core themes they remind their people of as well.
If I preach at your church, event, to students, leaders, or the whole church, you are likely to hear me talk a lot about the Gospel and the metanarrative of Scripture, how we should focus more on advancing a movement than maintaining a monument, among others. I may well talk about how we treat servers in restaurants as a practical way of thinking missionally. But one thing I say again and again is this: If you are a parent, if at all possible do not let your children finish high school without getting out of the country on a mission trip.
I said this at the Missouri Super Summer Camp a couple of years ago. A student named Carli heard the challenge and began to pray. The next year she caught me at the same camp and told me how God had laid on her heart to go overseas, and how she had found a trip to Paris. We prayed, she went, and she recently sent me an email about her trip, which I will share in part with you with her permission.
Hi Dr. Reid!!
I’m so excited about getting to tell you how God worked in Paris!
Whenever I think of Paris, which is about 99% of the time, I think of how much I want to go back and how much I leaned on Father while I was there. I was there with no contact with my friends, family, or America, meeting new people every day and forming friendships that I knew were going to last. I didn’t have my parents, a cell phone, a car; nothing that I use on a daily basis. All I had was God and new people to lean on to help me through.
And boy did I see God work in more ways than I could explain!
One afternoon my friends and I were sitting in a park bench looking for ‘American-looking’ people that we could at least have a decent conversation with (hence the language barrier). I had been praying for God to give me one person that I could talk to and make some sort of connection with. He gave me that person.
So, while I was sitting on the bench with Reid and Katie, I noticed a lady. Here’s the conversation that happened between Katie and I:
Katie: do you see anyone that you feel called to go talk to?
Me: No…oh wait! Hey Katie! there’s a girl sitting all by herself on that bench over there. she looks Americanish!..oh, but she’s talking on the phone. (I was a little disappointed)
Dr. Reid, I kid you not. not even 5 seconds after I said that, the lady put up her cell phone and pulled out a book to read. WHAT A GOD THING!!!
I looked at Katie and I said, ”Let’s go!”
When we finally got over there, we learned that her name was Adele (not the singer, of course). Adele was studying architecture. She was super receptive when we got the opportunity to share Jesus with her, even though she didn’t get saved right then and there; she was all for listening. I asked Adele if I could share the story of how I became a Christian and how God has worked in my life since then, and she was once again receptive to what I was telling her.
Praise Father!! He is SO good and faithful! I have so much to tell you about everything that I learned, I have no idea where to start, but I figured this would do for now!
Thank you for letting God speak through you on that night at Super Summer about going on an overseas mission trip if you’ve never done it before. I got more than major goosebumps that night; I got a calling that completely changed (or should I say wrecked) my life and I couldn’t praise Father enough for that!
May God give more of us (not just young people) with simple faith to follow Christ anywhere to speak of Him to others. And may we too be wrecked to the glory of God.